Contracts totalling €1.5bn to build the world’s longest electricity interconnector between the UK and Norway were awarded today.
NSN Link – a joint venture between Britain’s National Grid and Norway’s Statnett – has contracted Italian firm Prysmian and French firm Nexans to supply undersea cable for the project while power technology company ABB will deliver the convertor stations.
The 740km project will run from Blyth, Northumberland, in Britain to Kvilldal in Rogaland, Norway and is the first direct connection between the two countries’ energy systems. National Grid and Statnett claim the link could help bring down electricity prices in both countries.
"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," Alan Foster, National Grid's director of European business development, said today.
The project link will have a capacity of 1400MW and will be the longest high-voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea cable system in the world according to NSN. Twin cabling will mean the total length of cable required is roughly 1450km.
Prysmian will supply and install 950km of submarine and land cables for the UK and Norwegian North Sea sections of the route, while Nexans will supply the fjord, tunnel and lake sections, as well as the onshore connection in Norway. ABB will supply the high voltage direct current converter stations at the UK and Norwegian ends of the link.
The interconnector is expected to be in operation by 2021 and the estimated cost of the project is between €1.5bn and €2bn, shared jointly by the two partners.
Håkon Borgen, executive vice president of Statnett, said: "This project is an important part of Europe's future electricity system and we are very pleased to have these contractors aboard.
“Now we can go further in building the world's longest interconnector and we expect to see an efficient and qualified execution of the project, with focus on health, security and environment."