NeuConnect makes strong progress, keeping vital new energy link between UK and Germany on track
10th August 2018
- 700km of seabed surveys complete with major contract procurement set to begin later this year
The NeuConnect project – a vital new electricity interconnector between the UK and Germany – has made strong progress in the first half of 2018, with a series of key milestones achieved to keep the project on track.
NeuConnect is a privately-financed £1.4bn / €1.6bn interconnector that will create the first direct link between UK and German networks, allowing 1.4GW of electricity to flow in either direction – enough to power tens of millions of homes over the life of the project. By connecting two of Europe’s largest energy markets for the first time, the project will offer a more diverse and sustainable supply, delivering much needed resilience, security and flexibility in Germany and the UK.
Following initial approval from UK regulators Ofgem in January, the project has seen a period of strong progress over the last 6 months as NeuConnect aim for completion and operation in less than 5 years. Key progress and milestones so far this year include:
- Seabed surveys – OVER 700KM OF SURVEYS COMPLETED
The NeuConnect interconnector will see land connections at the Fedderwarden substation in Lower Saxony, Germany and substations at the Isle of Grain in Kent, UK. Over 700km of subsea cables will then form an ‘invisible highway’ to integrate renewable energy sources in Germany and the UK.
Seabed surveys to establish the exact subsea route for the project began in March this year and over 700km of surveys have now been substantially completed, on budget and ahead of schedule. Full results from the surveys will be available over the coming months but initial feedback appears to support NeuConnect’s indicative subsea route plans.
- Procurement – TENDERING OF £MULTI-MILLION CONTRACT OPPORTUNITIES ON TRACK TO BEGIN LATER THIS YEAR
The delivery of the NeuConnect project is expected to create significant economic benefits with up to £1bn /€1.1bn worth of contract and business opportunities. Key contracts for survey works, engineering and administrative support have already been awarded but the majority of procurement activity will focus on Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts.
NeuConnect’s procurement strategy is now being finalised so EPC procurement can commence later in 2018 and early 2019, sounding the starting gun for millions of pounds/Euros worth of contracts and business opportunities. Further details of the competitive procurement process will be announced later this year.
- Brexit – NEUCONNECT ENCOURAGED BY UK GOVERNMENT’S POSITION ON INTERCONNECTORS
In light of ongoing Brexit negotiations between the UK and EU, NeuConnect were encouraged by the position outlined in the UK Government’s Brexit White Paper which recognised the importance of continued interconnection to deliver lower prices for consumers and improved security of supply. NeuConnect urges the UK and EU negotiators to continue constructive discussions and reach agreement to offer clarity for millions of consumers and businesses throughout Europe.
NeuConnect CEO David Inglis said: “The first half of 2018 has seen a period of strong progress for the NeuConnect project, bringing this vital new energy link an important step closer.
“Completing over 700km of seabed surveys schedule was a significant milestone, and with hundreds of millions of pounds/Euros worth of business opportunities to be tendered later this year, we will also soon start to see the delivery of some early economic benefits from this major project.
“There will be many challenges ahead so we are not complacent, but the strong start we have made this year keeps us focused on completion in 2023, helping meet the UK and Germany’s future energy needs in less than 5 years.”
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, creating a team with significant experience and expertise in interconnector projects.