With approval in place, Energinet to start €65.2M subsea cable replacement project

Energinet gets green light for €65.2M subsea cable replacement project

The Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Supply has approved Energinet’s application for the replacement of a submarine cable that passes across Øresund connecting Denmark and Sweden.

Work on System 1 in 2020. Source: Energinet

With the approval in place, Energinet can now begin the project to replace System 2 on the 400 kV cable connection across Øresund as the current cable is 37 years old and “in poor condition”.

The cable is part of the project named the Øresund connection which includes a total of two 132 kV and two 400 kV connections that link Denmark’s Zealand to southern Sweden.

System 1 of 400 kV is owned by Svenska Kraftnät and was renewed in 2020, while System 2 of 400 kV is owned by Energinet. The expected lifetime of this type of cable is 40 years.

The project is said to be absolutely central to the function and operation of the Eastern Danish electricity system in particular and ensures that Zealand can be run synchronously with the rest of the Nordic region.

The System 2 connection was most recently damaged in 2019, and, as Energinet reports, a breakdown reduces the capacity of the connection and implies socio-economic loss.

The entire replacement project has a total budget of DKK 486 million (€65.2 million).

“We are taking our experience with the replacement of System 1 to the replacement of System 2, because there are many of the same challenges,” said Per Obbekær, Project Manager at Energinet.

“The challenges are particularly linked to the composition of the seabed and the fact that the strait on this part of Øresund is heavily trafficked. We are pleased that clause 4 is now in place, so that we can get started on this extremely important cable connection.”

In Denmark, three new cables will first be buried onshore over a stretch of approximately 1 kilometer between the transformer station in Skibstrupgård and the coast. The same will be done on the Swedish side, where the cables on land will be connected to the transformer station in Kristinelund.

Three new submarine cables will then be laid across the Øresund, roughly the same as the current route, after which the land and submarine cables will be connected. Once the new connection goes into operation, the old cables will be removed.

Energinet started the feasibility studies in the summer of 2022. A Swedish approval is expected in January 2025, followed by an investment decision by Svenska Kraftnät in April 2025, so that construction work can start in July 2025.

If everything goes according to schedule, the new connection can be commissioned in November 2026 and the project is expected to be completed in June 2027.