Construction has begun on the £2.4bn NeuConnect project, a new HVDC submarine power cable line connecting the UK and Germany.NeuConnect is being developed by NeuConnect UK with investors including Meridiam, Allianz Capital Partners, Kansai Electric Power and Tokyo Electric Power.
NeuConnect achieved financial close in July 2022 with a consortium of over 20 national and international banks and financial institutions. Since financial close, the project has undergone several site investigations and archaeological activities to enable contractors to commence construction work in the UK.
Julia Prescot, Chair of NeuConnect, said that the start of construction of NeuConnect is a huge milestone and an important step towards net-zero emissions at a time when sustainable, resilient energy connections in Europe have never been more important. As work is accelerating across the project and the first connection between Europe’s two largest energy markets gets closer, we thank our government, industry and financial partners for their continued support as we deliver this important project.
The interconnection project includes the construction of new converter stations on the Isle of Grain in Kent, UK and in the Wilhelmshaven area of Lower Saxony in northern Germany. The two converter stations are connected by a submarine cable travelling through UK, Dutch and German waters. The main contractors, Prysmian Group and Siemens Energy, have now begun work in the UK and preparatory work in Germany, with construction due to start in early 2024. The project is expected to be operational by 2028.
It allows up to 1.4GW of electricity to flow, enough to power up to 1.5 million homes over the life of the project and generate more than £1.7bn of consumer benefits. The project is expected to integrate renewable energy from the UK and Germany, making a significant contribution to CO2 reductions and supporting net-zero targets. As well as being the largest UK-German infrastructure project, NeuConnect is an important symbolic link between the UK and German economies.
Grant Shapps, UK Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero Emissions, said NeuConnect will be the first power line between the UK and Germany and is at the heart of my mission to strengthen our national energy security, as well as reinforcing our vital relationship with our North Sea allies. From 2028, the UK has the potential to provide 1.5 million homes with reliable, affordable and clean energy, and I am delighted to see construction begin today on this exciting infrastructure that will protect the UK’s energy security for future generations.