T&D World Magazine

European Investment Bank to Finance BritNed Cable Project

The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide EUR 300m for the construction of the BritNed Interconnector, a new electricity transmission cable between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The BritNed cable is a 50-50 joint venture, between National Grid and TenneT, who operate the grids. It will have a capacity of 1,000 MW and make a significant contribution to the security and diversity of electricity supplies in both the UK and the Netherlands. The interconnector will also boost competition by improving connections with European markets.

The European Investment Bank will contribute 50% of the overall EUR 600m project cost. National Grid will receive EUR 150m following an agreement signed with the EIB, while Tennet will receive a further EUR 150m.

Simon Brooks, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for lending operations in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands said: “BritNed will be a key element of European electricity infrastructure, enabling greater electricity trading, and improving security of supply, for the benefit of both the UK and the Netherlands.”

Bill Russell, National Grid’s director for the BritNed joint venture said "This is a key business for National Grid which will help to enhance security of supply in the UK and facilitate further competition. Work is already well underway and we look forward to seeing the benefits it will bring to Europe.”

Mel Kroon, CEO of TenneT said: “The BritNed cable provides a significant number of advantages, for producers and consumers alike. Thanks to BritNed, international trade will increase which will result in more stable prices for electricity in both countries and furthermore improves the security of supply. BritNed represents an important physical link on the road to a strong European power supply market.”

The high-voltage direct current (HVDC) submarine power cable will be between the Isle of Grain in Kent (UK), and Maasvlakte near Rotterdam (The Netherlands). The interconnector is already under construction and is expected to be completed by December, 2010. The BritNed link will be available for commercial operations in the first quarter of 2011.

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