£1.5bn contracts awarded for UK-Norway interconnector

Plans to build the world's longest electricity interconnector between the UK and Norway took a step forward yesterday, with £1.5bn of contracts awarded to three energy infrastructure companies.


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The subsea interconnector, expected to be 740km long, will allow the two countries to share surplus renewable energy.

The project is a joint venture between National Grid and Statnett SF, the Norwegian transmission system operator. It will have a capacity of 1,400MW.

National Grid’s director of European business development Alan Foster said: “There is a huge programme of work for us to undertake over the next five years to deliver what will be the world’s longest interconnector.

“Our contractors will have a big part to play in that successful delivery. But the benefits to both UK and Norway are also huge and when completed the link will deliver low carbon electricity for the UK and also add to security of supply for Norwegian consumers.”

Record breaker

European firms Prysmian and Nexans were chosen to supply the cables, while the converter stations in the UK and Norway will be delivered by ABB. Full financial details of the contract were not disclosed.

With twin cabling, almost 1,500km of cable is required for the project. It will run from Blyth in Northumberland to Kvilldal in Rogaland on the Norwegian side.

Statnett executive vice-president Håkon Borgen said: “This project is an important part of Europe’s future electricity system and we are very pleased to have these contractors aboard.

The link is expected to be in operation by 2021.

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The UK is also working on two connections to France, the first of which will utilise the existing infrastructure of the Channel Tunnel, while the second will harness future tidal power being developed on the Channel Islands.

The importance of interconnectors was exemplified last week, as wind turbines in Demark provided 140% of the country’s electricity needs. Interconnectors allowed 80% of the surplus to be redistributed to nearby Sweden, Norway and Germany.

Brad Allen

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