NeuConnect included in European Commission list of priority energy projects

UK-Germany energy link named in latest list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI)

NeuConnect has been included in the European Commission’s latest list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) – the list announced this week represents the crucial infrastructure projects that the Commission believe can help meet its key energy objectives of sustainability, affordability and security of supply.

NeuConnect is a privately-financed £1.4bn / €1.6bn interconnector that will create the first direct link between UK and German electricity networks. By connecting two of Europe’s largest energy markets for the first time and integrating renewable energy sources in Germany and the UK, NeuConnect will help deliver a more diverse, resilient and sustainable electricity supply, while also helping to lower costs for consumers.

In announcing its latest list of Projects of Common Interest, the European Commission highlighted the selected projects as “another important move towards making our energy system more sustainable, more competitive and more secure”.

NeuConnect’s inclusion in the PCI list follows an open and transparent assessment process carried out by the European Commission over the past 18 months. Projects that secure PCI status are able to benefit from simplified planning permitting and the right to apply for EU funding from the Connecting Europe Facility.

NeuConnect CEO Christophe Vanhove said: “NeuConnect’s inclusion in the European Commission’s list of priority projects is a significant milestone and underlines the important role NeuConnect can play in delivering a secure, sustainable and affordable energy supply. PCI status will be an added boost to the strong progress we are making throughout this project, helping keep this vital new energy link firmly on track.”

News of NeuConnect’s inclusion in the European Commission’s priority list is the latest milestone in a period of strong progress for the project throughout 2019 including:

  • UK connection agreement secured: In February, NeuConnect and National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) finalised a connection agreement to secure the UK connection point for the new interconnector
  • Major procurement launched: In April, NeuConnect unveiled over £1bn worth of business opportunities in the project’s Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts, resulting in significant interest from the supply chain and contractors
  • Planning consultations completed: In June and August, public consultation events took place in the Isle of Grain in Kent and Wilhelmshaven, northern Germany, allowing the local communities in the UK and Germany to view and comment on the NeuConnect plans
  • Project video unveiled: To support the start of public consultation activity, a new video was created to set out the benefits of the NeuConnect project and the need for continued interconnection in the UK, Germany and Europe

The coming months will see further progress including NeuConnect’s major procurement activities moving to ITT stage, and planning applications submitted for the onshore works in the UK (Isle of Grain, Kent) and Germany (Wilhelmshaven).

NeuConnect is being developed by an international, experienced consortium that includes Meridiam, Allianz Capital Partners on behalf of Allianz Group and Kansai Electric Power, with the project also supported by Greenage Power and Frontier Power as developers. The key partners bring a proven track record in delivering large-scale energy infrastructure