GERMAN electricity operator 50Hertz is using DNA forensic marking across all its substations to deter cable and metal thieves.
According to German police, metal theft is on the rise in the local Saalekreis district, with more than 300 incidents reported in the area so far this year, rising from 248 incidents in 2014.
The 50Hertz substation in the town of Bad Lauchstädt is the first to have its cable marked with SelectaDNA and the initiative will be extended across the operator’s 70 other sites.
The artificial DNA in the SelectaDNA solution makes it very difficult for metal thieves to sell on marked cable to a third party as it is easily traceable back to the original site. The marking is visible under UV light, and as each 50Hertz site will have its own unique DNA code, stolen goods can be identified immediately as coming from one particular substation.
Even if thieves try to remove the chemical marking from the cable, the DNA-coded particles will stick to tools, hands and clothing. SelectaDNA is already being used to reduce theft of rail track and infrastructure belonging to train operator Deutsche Bahn.
Helmut Graf, Head of 50Hertz’s Regional Centre said: “For us there are two sides to metal theft. Material damage is one aspect, but there is also the added threat to plant security and electricity supply."
Andy Matthias Müller, head of security at 50Hertz has high hopes that the proven deterrent value of SelectaDNA will help resolve the problem.
He said: “While we have so far never had to shut down one of our substations due to metal theft, it would only have been a matter of time if we hadn’t deployed this new artificial DNA.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
Back to 2015 News Stories