First UK-Germany energy link enters next stage of construction

First UK-Germany energy link enters next stage of construction

The first-ever energy link between the UK and Germany is moving into the next stage of construction as foundation works are underway on a new UK converter station.

Source: NeuConnect

The €2.8 billion NeuConnect project will see new converter stations built on the Isle of Grain in Kent and the Wilhelmshaven region in northern Germany, connected by 725 kilometers of land and subsea cables, linking two of Europe’s largest energy markets for the first time.

The new link will allow 1.4 GW of electricity to flow in either direction, boosting energy security and resilience while helping integrate renewable energy sources in the UK and Germany.

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Major construction in the UK started in the summer of 2023 with Italian cabling giant Prysmian carrying out horizontal directional drilling (HDD) works to allow the subsea cables to be brought on land. This first phase of works was completed on schedule by the end of 2023.

Alongside this, the other main contractor Siemens Energy also recently completed enabling works for the UK converter station allowing the project to now move into its next phase of construction which includes the start of test piling works to form the foundations of the new UK converter station.

Work is now underway to install the first of ten test piles at the site of the UK converter station to help gather information for the main foundation works. Once analysis of the test piling has been completed, the main program of foundation works for the converter station will begin in June with additional drilling rigs brought onto the site.

Besides the converter station works, the National Grid has also started preparatory works for a new substation building that will connect NeuConnect to the National Electricity Transmission System (NETS) for distribution across the existing electricity network in Great Britain.

Alongside UK construction activities, work at NeuConnect’s site in Wilhelmshaven, is also making good progress with major construction on track to start this month.

“The start of early works on the UK converter station is another important step forwards for NeuConnect, and continues the good progress and strong momentum behind the project. With major construction also starting soon in Germany, the delivery of the first UK-German energy link remains firmly on track,” NeuConnect CEO Arnaud Grévoz.