ABB has teamed up with Norwegian company Aibel to deliver high voltage grid links for the offshore wind sector.

Under the tie-up, the Swiss engineering giant will focus on supplying HVDC technology while Aibel will take turnkey responsibility for the substation platforms.

"The partnership will combine the core competencies of the two companies to deliver best-in-class solutions,” said the companies. "The partners will collaborate on the design, engineering and optimization of offshore wind connections.”

The deal is part of ABB’s ongoing Power Grids transformation, which was designed to address perceived shortcomings particularly in its offshore business.

“We are proud to partner with Aibel to tap the vast opportunities of the ongoing energy revolution and related offshore wind infrastructure investments,” said ABB chief executive Ulrich Spiesshofer.

“Strategic partnerships like this are a core pillar of our next level strategy and help us to drive growth while mitigating risk,” he added.

Onshore, ABB is teaming up with Fluor to deliver large turnkey substation jobs on the same basic EPC/HVDC split.

ABB said the power grids shake-up “will unlock maximum shareholder value compared to other ownership options such as sale, IPO, spin-off or joint venture”.

It said the new partnerships will “de-risk” the business model. The “pruning” of what ABB called “niche non-core businesses” such as NKT cables is also part of the strategic shift.

As a result of the changes, ABB is raising the operational EBITA margin target from 8-12% to 10-14%, effective 2018.

Image: ABB