NeuConnect selects key contractors, financial close in sight

The NeuConnect consortium has selected the contractors for cabling and converter station works for the first-ever energy link between the UK and Germany.

Siemens Energy has been selected to supply the turnkey high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system for the project and will build two converter stations – one in the Isle of Grain in England and the other in the Wilhelmshaven region in the north of Germany.

Italy’s Prysmian Group is in charge of the design, manufacture, installation, testing and commissioning of the 725-kilometer interconnector.

The two contract awards, valued at over £1.5 billion, come after significant market interest in NeuConnect’s procurement program, the developer said.

With key contractors in place, NeuConnect is said to be on track to reach financial close in the coming weeks, allowing works to start later this year.

“The announcement of NeuConnect’s contract awards comes just days after the UK Government’s British Energy Strategy set out ambitious targets to scale-up affordable, clean and secure energy. The electricity connection between Great Britain and Germany will ensure greater security of supply and flexibility for both countries. It’s a perfect example that we can only achieve the energy transition by working together,” said Mark Pilling, vice president of HV Grids, GB&I at Siemens Energy.

“NeuConnect will not only help accelerate the decarbonisation of our energy system, but it will also support levelling up and create hundreds of green jobs in Great Britain and Germany. We are delighted to be part of this world-first project which will bring sustainable energy to 1.5 million homes.”

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NeuConnect’s route will run between the UK converter station located on the Isle of Grain in Kent, passing through the UK, Dutch and German waters to the landing point in Lower Saxony in Germany to connect with the converter station near Wilhelmshaven.

The 1.4 GW interconnector is expected to help in delivering a more resilient supply for both countries as well as a net reduction in carbon emissions of 16 MtCO2 over 25 years to support German, UK and European net-zero goals.

NeuConnect and TenneT finalized the connection agreement to secure the German grid connection point for the privately financed €1.6 billion interconnector at the end of 2021.

The project is being led by global investors Meridiam, Allianz Capital Partners and Kansai Electric Power.