Greenlink names construction chief

Greenlink Interconnector has appointed Paul O’Rourke as construction director for the 500MW subsea link that will connect the grids in Ireland and the UK.

Photo of Paul O’Rourke (Courtesy of Greenlink Interconnector)
Paul O’Rourke (Courtesy of Greenlink Interconnector)

O’Rourke joins the company from Saudi Aramco where he led asset management activities for more than 2000 kilometres of critical submarine cables interconnecting offshore production facilities.

He spent five years with EirGrid – initially as the marine project manager during development of the East West Interconnector (EWIC) and subsequently as the project director, taking EWIC through to completion.

Nigel Beresford, Greenlink CEO, said: “In addition to the 250 jobs which will be created during construction, there are a swathe of benefits which interconnection brings including improved energy security, regional investment and competitive energy costs for consumers, as well as facilitating the integration of low carbon renewable energy sources.

“Pending planning approval, it is our intention to have this project built by the end of 2023. Paul’s appointment is a very timely and welcome boost to help us realise that ambition”.

Greenlink is a proposed subsea and underground electricity interconnector cable of approximately 190 kilometres which will connect the grids in Ireland and the UK.

The Greenlink interconnector has a nominal capacity of 500MW, equivalent to powering 380,000 homes.

Costing approximately €450 million to develop, it will provide a new grid connection between the existing Great Island substation in County Wexford and the UK National Grid’s Pembroke substation in south Wales allowing power to flow in either direction depending on supply and demand in each country.

Pádraig McManus, Greenlink board member and director, said: “Greenlink is a critical piece of national infrastructure which will greatly support the Irish government’s Climate Action Plan for decarbonising the energy system. Its development and delivery will, I believe be a catalyst for further transition from fossil fuels, not just for the South East but obviously, the entire island”.