NeuConnect completes a year of significant milestones with early works now underway on first ever UK-German energy link
- Enabling works and access road works underway in Germany and UK ahead of major construction works starting in 2023
Early works are now underway on the £2.4bn/€2.8bn NeuConnect project, capping a year of significant progress on the first direct energy link between the UK and Germany, and a vital new connection between two of Europe’s largest markets.
Led by global investors Meridiam, Allianz Capital Partners, Kansai Electric Power and TEPCO, NeuConnect will become one of the world’s largest interconnectors with 725km of land and subsea cables forming an ‘invisible energy highway’ between the UK and Germany. The new link will allow 1.4GW of electricity to flow in either direction, helping to boost energy security and resilience while also helping to integrate renewable energy sources in both countries.
With NeuConnect reaching Financial Close in July, the project has continued to make rapid progress in recent months with enabling works now underway at the Isle of Grain in Kent, England and Wilhelmshaven in northern Germany. The start of early works on site completes a year of significant milestones for the project including:
- April: SERIES of major contracts awarded
NeuConnect announced a series of key contract awards to Prysmian Group for cabling works and to Siemens Energy for the construction of converter stations in the UK and Germany, together with the appointment of the Arup-Fichtner joint venture to provide project services in NeuConnect’s delivery.
- July: £2.4bn / €2.8bn Financial Close achieved with global consortium
NeuConnect reached Financial Close in July with a consortium of more than 20 national and international banks and financial institutions. At £2.4bn / €2.8bn, NeuConnect is currently the single-largest Anglo-German infrastructure project.
- October: Production starts on 725km of cabling
The production of 725km of cabling got underway at Prysmian’s factory in Arco Felice, Italy in October continuing the strong momentum of the project just a few months after Financial Close.
- November: UK and German Governments underline support for NeuConnect
Speaking at an industry event in November, His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Europe, Chris Barton said NeuConnect’s Financial Close was “a considerable milestone on a project of national importance”, while German Ambassador to the UK Miguel Berger said “NeuConnect is a groundbreaking project that underpins the UK and Germany’s ever-increasing bilateral energy cooperation”
- December: Early works start in UK and Germany
In November, works started on an access road that will connect to the new converter station in Wilhelmshaven, northern Germany. On the Isle of Grain in Kent, England, some preliminary survey works have taken place and in December, works started on an access road to prepare the site for onshore works next year. These early enabling works now underway in the UK and Germany keep NeuConnect on-track to start major construction in 2023.
Julia Prescot, Chair of the NeuConnect Board and co-founder of lead investor Meridiam, said:
“A series of major milestones have made this our biggest year to-date on the NeuConnect project, and the start of early works in the UK and Germany gives us continued momentum as we prepare to start construction in 2023. The backing of Government and industry partners in Germany and the UK has been an important part of the strong progress NeuConnect has made so far, and we welcome their continued support as we work to deliver a vital new energy link for Europe.”
The NeuConnect interconnector will see two new converter stations built on the Isle of Grain in Kent, England and the Wilhelmshaven region in Lower Saxonia, northern Germany, connected by 725km of land and subsea cables travelling through British, Dutch and German waters. Major construction to lay subsea cables and build converter stations will start in 2023, with NeuConnect due to be operational by 2028. For further information on the NeuConnect project, please visit neuconnect-interconnector.com.