Work starts on first-ever UK-Germany energy link
Construction has begun on the €2.8 billion NeuConnect project, the first-ever energy link between the UK and Germany.
Since the financial close that was completed in July 2022, a range of site surveys and archaeological activities have been carried out, allowing construction work to now begin in the UK.
Prysmian is starting horizontal directional drilling (HDD) works on the Isle of Grain site which will allow the subsea cables to be brought on-land, while Siemens Energy has started works on attenuation ponds and the construction of a main access road that will link to the new electricity converter station whose construction will start next year.
Alongside onshore works, pre-installation offshore survey works are underway to prepare the route for subsea cables to be installed. The first phase of subsea cable installation will start next year.
Furthermore, the production of 725 kilometers of cabling is said to be well underway at Prysmian’s factory in Arco Felice, Italy, and Sumitomo’s factory in Osaka, Japan.
In Germany, preparatory works are underway and good progress is made on an access road that will connect to the new converter station in Wilhelmshaven, Lower Saxony, northern Germany, while major construction will start early next year.
To remind, NeuConnect signed a license agreement with The Crown Estate a week ago, a step that allows major construction work to begin in the UK.
“NeuConnect is a key project to support Germany and the UK in achieving their climate targets and to boost energy security. It is the largest Anglo-German infrastructure project and will enable us to share excess power – preventing renewable energy from being wasted,” said Miguel Berger, German Ambassador to the UK.
“NeuConnect’s 725km power highway will be the first direct energy link between the UK and Germany. With construction underway in Kent, and major construction due to start early next year in Wilhelmshaven at the German end, speedy progress can be expected.”
With some 725 kilometers of land and subsea cables, NeuConnect will become one of the world’s largest interconnectors once operational by 2028.
The project, led by global investors Meridiam, Allianz Capital Partners, Kansai Electric Power and TEPCO, will allow up to 1.4 GW of electricity to flow in both directions – enough to power up to 1.5 million homes over its lifetime – helping to boost energy security and resilience and to integrate renewable energy sources in the UK and Germany.
It will see the construction of new converter stations on the Isle of Grain in Kent, England, and the Wilhelmshaven region in Lower Saxony, northern Germany, connected by subsea cables passing through British, Dutch and German waters.