King Charles III and German president voice support for NeuConnect energy link
The NeuConnect energy link that will connect Germany and the UK for the first time is a “key project” and highlights how closely the two countries are working together to make their economies climate-neutral, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said during the visit of UK’s King Charles III to Germany.
King Charles III and German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier mentioned NeuConnect in speeches made during the king’s visit to Germany.
“As important and long-standing as German-British relations are, it is only this year that our countries will become truly linked to each other. In 2023, construction work on a submarine cable between the Isle of Grain and Wilhelmshaven is due to begin – and in just a few years’ time, electricity will flow for the first time between the United Kingdom and Germany,” Steinmeier said at a reception held on Wednesday, 29 March, in Berlin.
“This first direct power link between our two countries, between two of the largest energy markets in Europe, is a key project [and] highlights how closely Germany and the United Kingdom are working together to make our economies climate-neutral. I regard this as an encouraging example – just as Your Majesty’s visit to Germany is encouraging.”
This was followed by King Charles III’s speech at the German Bundestag on Thursday, 30 March, in which he said that the UK and Germany are together providing leadership to secure a shared future.
“Today, the United Kingdom and Germany are Europe’s two largest producers of power from offshore wind,” King Charles III said.
“Many German firms are involved in the production and erection of turbines off the British coast. The North Sea, across which our people have travelled and traded for generations, is soon to be the site of a new interconnector allowing us directly to trade electricity.”
NeuConnect was also mentioned in the UK Government’s new Powering Up Britain strategy that sets out work “to strengthen Britain’s long-term energy security and independence to help deliver clean, prosperous future for the country”.
Within the new strategy, the government highlights the work of the new UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) noting that: “UKIB is now operational and, as of 27 March 2023, has announced 12 deals, investing approximately £1.2 billion and unlocking over £5 billion of private capital. Projects that contribute towards meeting net zero include […] Investing in the UK portion of finance for the 1.4GW NeuConnect interconnector project”.
Led by global investors Meridiam, Allianz Capital Partners, Kansai Electric Power and TEPCO, NeuConnect will comprise 725 kilometers of onshore and subsea cables.
The £2.4 billion project reached financial close in July 2022 with a global consortium of banks and financial institutions, with early site works now well underway in the UK and Germany, keeping the project on track to start major construction later this year.
The interconnector is due to become operational in 2028.