Contracts totalling €1.5billion have been awarded to build the North Sea Link – the first electricity link between UK and Norway.
North Sea Link has contracted with two cable suppliers, Prysmian and Nexans, to deliver the cable needed for the 740 kilometre route length. The converter stations in both UK and Norway will be delivered by ABB, the power technology specialist.
The project, which will establish a first direct connection between the two countries energy systems, is a joint venture between National Grid and Statnett SF, the Norwegian transmission system operator. The new interconnector will contribute to increased production and use of renewable energy on both sides and will have a capacity of 1400MW.
The project comprises a 730 kilometres subsea HVDC system with cables which will be the longest of its type in the world ,with a 10 kilometre onshore route. With twin cabling the total length of cable required is approximately 1450 km. It will run from Blyth in Northumberland on the UK side to Kvilldal in Rogaland on the Norwegian side.
Prysmian will supply and install 950 km of submarine and land cables for the UK and Norwegian North Sea sections of the route. The cables will be produced at their Arco Felice factory in Naples and they will using their own cable laying vessel “Giulio Verne”.
Nexans will supply the fjord, tunnel and lake sections, as well as the onshore connection in Norway. They will design and manufacture some 500 km of HVDC cables at their Halden plant. The cables will be laid by Nexans’ own cable-laying vessel, C/S Nexans Skagerrak and protected on the seabed by trenching with Nexans’ Capjet system and rock dumping.
ABB will supply the high voltage direct current converter stations at the UK and Norwegian ends of the link. The contract to design, supply and commission the converter stations using their HVDC Light technology.
Alan Foster, National Grid’s director of European Business Development said:
“There is a huge programme of work for us to undertake over the next five years to deliver what will be the world’s longest interconnector. Our contractors will have a big part to play in that successful delivery. But the benefits to both UK and Norway are also huge and when completed the link will deliver low carbon electricity for the UK and also add to security of supply for Norwegian consumers.”
Håkon Borgen, Executive Vice President of Statnett said:
“This project is an important part of Europe’s future electricity system and we are very pleased to have these contractors aboard. Now we can go further in building the world’s longest interconnector and we expect to see an efficient and qualified execution of the project, with focus on health, security and environment.”
The link is expected to be in operation by 2021.