Green lights on all permits for the Belgian onshore cable works

On a large project such as Nemo one of the main challenges/hurdles is obtaining all the necessary permits for the construction works.

After hard and consistent work, Nemo Link has now obtained all permits/planning permissions for the construction works related to the Belgian onshore cable route:
- Road permit;
- Building permit;
- Declaration of public use.

The Belgian onshore cable works can now start in September 2017 in line with planning.

Cable Route BE

For more information about the cable route:

The two cables for the 400KV DC Nemo Link will be installed in two parallel pipes over a distance of 8.850 m from the beach side of Zeebrugge to the new converter station in Herdersbrug.

The converter station, located at the Pathoekeweg 302 in Brugge is now in construction.

There are eight horizontal directional drills involved to cross the dune, nature reserve, roads and railway. The longest drill is 538,5 meters. The cables will be pulled through the pipes and interconnected in 15 joint pits.

If you are interested in consulting the permits, please fin them on the ‘download documents’ page.


Stakeholder information event in Richborough

On the 17th of March 2017 Nemo Link held a public information event in Richborough at the Baypoint Club.

The aim of the event was to give local stakeholders the opportunity to engage with the Nemo Link project members. Representatives of the Nemo team, the cable contractor, their construction partner and community consultation specialists were available to answer questions about the project and its benefits and also to explain the plans and the chronology of the land works to be completed in the region of Richborough.

Richbo Stakeholder Event 2

In order to reach out to the population invitation letters (over 3000) were mailed to residents and local businesses. Relevant Portfolio Holders, Ward Councillors, Parish Councillors and site MPs were also invited to the event. Moreover, the event has been advertised in the ‘East Kent Mercury’ publication.

The Nemo team is grateful to those who attended the event as they have contributed to the development of the project. Interesting comments, questions and proposals have been brought up.

Making sure that the local stakeholders are well informed about the project and how the works will occur is a priority for Nemo Link.

Should you require further information on Nemo Link, please call 0800 083 3149 or email

Richbo Stakeholder Event


The following link gives access to the information that has been displayed on the exhibition boards on day of the event:

Exhibition Boards – Richborough Stakeholder Event Boards

Favourable response from the city ‘Brugge’ for the realisation of the belgian land cable works

The Nemo Link conversion station and land cable route are on the territory of ‘Brugge’, the capital city of West Flanders.

The direct current cable land connection will run between the Nemo conversion station in Herdersbrug and the beach of ‘Zeebrugge’.

The city of ‘Brugge’ now has given a conditional favourable response for the realisation of the belgian land cable works that will start later this year.

The governmental department ‘Ruimte Vlaanderen’ can now process the building permit application and provide a final decision.

This is one more positive achieval for the realization of the Nemo construction works.



Cable Route BE


New ‘slip-form’ constructed firewall for the Herdersbrug converter site

During February some exceptional works have been undertaken on the Herdersbrug converter site.

The Austrian enterprise Gleitbau ( has been put in charge of the construction of a slip-form wall, which will serve as a fire wall between our transformers and the Converter Hall.

Slip forming, continuous poured, continuously formed, or slipform construction is a construction method in which concrete is poured into a continuously moving form. Slip forming is used for tall structures (such as bridges, towers, buildings, and dams), as well as horizontal structures, such as roadways.

The reason why BAM/Siemens have decided to use “slip-form” technology is that it provides a considerable time advantage. This technique has rarely been seen in Belgium, but allows delivering a high quality solution in a relatively short time frame.

The aim of the wall in question is to minimize the risk of fire in the Converter Hall. The wall is 0.5 m thick and 17m high; it has been built at a speed of approximately 3 m every 24 hours.

This represents a big step for the Herdersbrug construction works.






NEMO Link project video

Always wondered what NEMO was about? Feel free to have a look at our project video that was created in collaboration with our two main EPC contractors Siemens and J-Power Systems (part of Sumitomo Electric).

Archeological measurement campaign French contiguous zone

Nemo Link has executed in September a measurement campaign in the French contiguous zone that will be crossed by NEMO Link.

The retrieved data are being used in the context of an archeological study requested by DRASSM (French governmental research agency). This study should be finalized by May 2017 in order to assure that no damage to objects of archeological value could occur during the installation works of the cables in the French part of the NEMO route.

That is why a team of geotechnical staff of the company GTEC and NEMO Link’s cable project engineer Erwann Bauwens went offshore during a period of around 14 days to execute amongst others magnetometric and sidescan sonar measurements.


Richborough remediation – turbine hall demolition time lapse video

The land remediation phase at the Nemo Link UK Converter site in Richborough is now coming to an end.

A key element of this phase involved the demolition and removal of the derelict turbine hall steel frame structure which used to dominate the Richborough skyline. Following a rigorous risk review process this mammoth structure was systematically broken down piece-by-piece, processed on site and recycled by Siemens Subcontractors Erith Demolition Ltd.

As with all large scale demolition works, there were a number of notable activities that needed to be closely managed throughout, including heavy lifting, working at height and ground vibration consideration. In addition these particular works were made more complex due to the close proximity of a live substation.

After several carefully planned weeks this inherently risky work was completed without any serious incidents or injuries to the workers involved, and also involved the safe removal and processing of asbestos deposits left behind from the sites power generation days. In order to create a record of this significant work the Nemo Link team commissioned a time-lapse camera facing the turbine hall for the duration of the demolition phase.

Nemo Link SHES Manager, Craig Silcock said “The safe demolition of such a large, awkward and heavy steel structure with a limited working area is a real positive achievement for the site team and our contractors, and it gives us an excellent safety platform for us to build upon as the project progresses into the construction phase”

Time lapse video:

Richborough converter – ready for start of civil construction works

On Thursday the 22nd of September NEMO reached a major milestone for construction of the UK HVDC converter station at Richborough. The deconstruction of the relic steel structure which once housed the Turbine Hall of Richborough power station was completed and the work area was handed back to the principal contractor Siemens. This marked the removal of all above ground structures associated with the former PowerStation.

Arial photograph of original PowerStation:


Decommissioning of the power station started as far back as 1996 when much of the site was cleared leaving the turbine hall, accommodation block, chimney and cooling towers. The cooling towers and chimney a local landmark at the time were brought to ground level in a controlled explosion on the 11th of March 2012.

NG Video of demolition of the cooling towers and chimney:

Throughout 2016, the remediation of the power station ground has been methodically carried out, removing below ground structures and placing a coarse aggregate surface finish ready for installing the new foundations and over 800 piles.


Over the last 4 months’ contractors have work meticulously to remove approximately 1000 Tonnes of steel one piece at a time. These segments were then broken down into manageable pieces at ground level and removed from site for recycling. This complex operation was expertly executed and despite the sometimes challenging weather conditions, all operations were done safely and without injury.


J Murphy’s and Sons Ltd have now been appointed as subcontractor to Siemens and will now take the lead on site for the next phase of the project, civil construction into 2017.

Russell Smalley (UK Project Manager)

Offshore safety training

Nemo Link managers Lisa Kettle and Craig Silcock completed their BOSIET (Basic Offshore Safety Induction & Emergency Training) Certificates at Falck’s specialist training facility in Teesside last month. BOSIET training is one of three qualifications required by the Cable Contractor prior to boarding a vessel and operates in a similar way to a BESC or CSCS Card for onshore site attendance. The certification from attending this course will enable Craig and Lisa to visit offshore cable laying operations to proactively carry out assurance activities or, in the worst case scenario, to be able to represent Nemo Link in the event of an offshore incident.

The course covered a wide range of subjects including first aid, escaping smoke filled spaces, operation and use of emergency life rafts and the dreaded helicopter ditch and capsize training. It prioritises personal safety in an emergency and the capability to support others in a controlled manner until help arrives.

SHESQ Manager Craig said, “It was vital for us to get an appreciation of the perils and risks that offshore work entails, and the course has provided us with the basics required to be able to keep ourselves and other offshore workers safe on the vessels that will be used on the Nemo Link project during our visits.”

Reflecting on the Helicopter crash simulation Lisa added, “Given the amount of information we had received over two days of training it was a real benefit to be able to practice escape techniques in a controlled environment. It was surprising how quickly the simulator filled with water and how long the seven second wait before evacuating felt. Whilst preparing us appropriately for our day job, it also gave a new appreciation of the risks those who work offshore continually face.”


Safety milestone: 100,000 hours without lost time injury

Nemo Link is proud to have reached an early safety milestone of over 100,000 hours without a lost time injury. Whilst this might be a relatively small number when compared to other construction projects it should be noted that this achievement has been realised during an initial mobilisation period of a new international client team from different parent organisations, and commencement of works by 2 major Contractors across 2 countries including offshore activities as well.

Why are we celebrating this value? From a risk perspective our new contractors Siemens have completed their part of the demolition of the existing Turbine Hall structure at the UK site in Richborough, and JPower Systems have completed 54000 hours of offshore cable route survey works across the English Channel, both of which are inherently risky and complex activities.

It is early days for Nemo Link, but we believe that we have started on the right journey to developing a strong safety management culture that we can build upon.

Richborough - turbine hall