Photo: CLV Nexans Aurora; Source: Nexans

With Celtic Interconnector deal in the bag, Nexans tucks ‘important milestone’ under its belt

French cable maker Nexans has been awarded a deal for the Celtic Interconnector project, a subsea link that will allow the exchange of electricity between Ireland and France. The company sees this as a stepping stone to its ultimate goal of turning into a pure electrification player.

While announcing the contract for the Celtic Interconnector, developed jointly by the Irish and French transmission system operators, EirGrid and RTE – Réseau de Transport d’Electricité, Nexans underscored that this 700 MW capacity project is “the world’s longest XLPE interconnector to be built and the first subsea link for direct electricity exchange between France and Ireland.”

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According to Nexans, the interconnection between France and Ireland will use HVDC 320 kV technology and includes a 500 km subsea cable route, a 40 km underground route in France (Brittany), and a 35km underground route in Ireland (Cork County). The company further added that the 400 kV HVAC 10 km connection to the Irish grid is also part of its work scope for this project.

As the cables will be produced in Nexans’ “state-of-the-art” facilities, the 1,000 km of subsea cables will be manufactured in Halden (Norway) and the 180 km underground cables will be manufactured in Charleroi (Belgium). On the other hand, accessories will be manufactured in Cortaillod (Switzerland).

Nexans highlighted that a “proven project delivery model” along with its Nexans Aurora cable-laying vessel (CLV) and “key” subcontractors will ensure “the highest installation and protection delivery standards.” This project includes “the innovative bundle lay of the two HVDC power cables along with full data capacity repeated fiber optic system.”

Christopher Guérin, Nexans’ CEO, remarked: “Signing the contract for the Celtic Interconnector further cements Nexans as a major player in renewable energy. We are proud to contribute to such a historic project that works directly with the European Union’s goal of electrical solidarity between Member States. Nexans is leading the way in connecting the parts of the world with the highest renewable energy potential to the parts of the world with the greatest demand for electricity.

“From energy generation and transmission to distribution and usage, Nexans’ solutions cover the full electrification value chain to ensure electricity can be delivered to all corners of the world securely, reliably, and efficiently. ”

The French player outlined that the Celtic Interconnector is recognised as a project of common interest (PCI) by the European Union, as it will allow the exchange of electricity between Ireland and France, supplying power to approximately 450,000 homes. This project is seen as a key to developing an integrated energy system in Europe, which will speed up the European energy transition by fostering the development of renewable energy resources.

In addition, it is expected to help the European Union achieve its energy policy and climate objectives of “affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all.” The Celtic Interconnector project is slated to be built and energised by 2026. Nexans claims that this “major” project is “an important milestone” in its goal of becoming a pure electrification player.

Regarding Nexans’ other recent deals, it is worth noting that the French firm secured a contract in October 2022 for phase one of the Empire Wind offshore wind project developed by a 50/50 partnership between BP and Equinor.

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In addition, Nexans recently secured a contract from Ørsted and Eversource to supply the export cable for the 704 MW Revolution offshore wind farm, which is located more than 15 miles (around 25 kilometres) south of the Rhode Island coast.