National Grid, TenneT Begin Laying UK Cable For Interconector
Jun 21, 2010 - Selina Williams - Dow Jones
A joint-venture between the U.K.'s National Grid PLC ( NG.LN) and Dutch transmission company TenneT--BritNed--Tuesday began work to lay the first section of marine cable in England for a high-voltage electricity interconnector to link the power grids in the U.K. and the Netherlands.
The GBP500 million connection, which is the second of its kind linking the U.K. with mainland Europe, is part of a major program of investments by National Grid and TenneT that will help facilitate low-carbon generation by maintaining continuing security of supply.
"This joint venture between National Grid and TenneT has contributed to a more open and resilient market in Europe and will help to ensure a continued reliable supply of electricity for both the U.K. and The Netherlands by joining the transmission grids of both countries," said BritNed director Bill Russell.
The 1,000-megawatt electricity cable, which will run 260 kilometers between Maasvlakte, near Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and the Isle of Grain in southeast England, will also help to diversify supplies and improve competition with European markets.
The interconnector is scheduled to be commissioned in December and ready for commercial operations by April 2011, Russell said.
The marine works, which involve bundling and burying two high voltage direct current cables at the bottom of the North Sea by using a special cable laying vessel, are carried out in sections.
Works to lay the cable at Maasvlakte took place in September last year. So far, 50% of the BritNed cable has been laid and cable laying activities are scheduled to be completed before September this year. Due to the distance involved, direct current electricity is the only option to transmit power through the cables which connect to the converter stations.
ABB High Voltage Cables is responsible for producing and laying the cable on behalf of BritNed. The BAM Nuttall/Siemens AG (SI) consortium is responsible for the construction of the converter stations and for manufacturing and installing the converter equipment.
-By Selina Williams, Dow Jones Newswires +44 207 842 9262; selina.williams@ dowjones.com