Touching everyday lives - Oerlikon Substation

Safe electrical energy supply to 400,000 inhabitants for the next 100 years Utility of Zurich (ewz), Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Saving space for city life by building underground

Zurich is a booming city and one of the most rapidly growing in Switzerland. The power grid needs to be stable and produce enough capacity to provide energy consistently to the more than 400,000 residents of Zurich. To expand that capacity, the Electric Works of Zurich, or ewz, launched a project to create a substation that would convert voltage from 150kv to 22kv – a more modern standard.

Pöyry began work on the underground substation that had a number of special features. One of those included a viewing area. Pöyry also faced the challenge of implementing the complex waste heat utilisation system for the transformers.

To contain the ground water surrounding the structure, Pöyry designed a double wall structure to ensure safe operations at Oerlikon.  At different periods during the execution of Oerlikon, teams of up to 20 project managers, engineers and other technical staff from Pöyry were dedicated to the project.

According to Pascal Mueller, General Project Manager for ewz, «A project this complex involves a lot of challenges in terms of geological and design issues. We felt safer with Pöyry. They were able to achieve highly ambitious goals on an extremely tight schedule and under very difficult conditions.