NEMO LINK announces €500m contracts to build the first interconnector between GB and Belgium

  • World first use of HVDC[1] XLPE cables at 400 kV
  • NEMO LINK to provide further integration of the European energy market
  • Work to start in both Kent and Zeebrugge later this year

NEMO LINK today announced the two winning contractors who will build the first electricity interconnector between GB and Belgium. They are Siemens and J–Power Systems, the Japan-based company, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

The contracts are together valued at about €500m. Siemens will build the converter stations in both Kent and Zeebrugge using their HVDC Plus technology and they will have a 5 year service and maintenance agreement. J-Power systems will design, manufacture and install the state of the art HVDC XLPE[1] cable system – the first time it will be used operationally as a High Voltage Direct Current link at 400kV.

NEMO LINK is the joint venture between National Grid and Elia, the Belgium Transmission System Operator, to deliver the 1000MW subsea link between the two countries. It will run 140 kilometres and will provide enough electricity to power half a million homes.

The link will increase energy security for both countries and support integration of renewable energy. It has been designated as one of the European Commission’s Projects of Common Interest as it will help create an integrated European energy market.

Alan Foster, NEMO LINK board member, said

“We are delighted that Siemens and J-Power Systems have won these contracts. The use of this state-of-the-art cable technology allied to the very efficient converter stations will make NEMO LINK the most innovative interconnector in Europe, bringing new supplies of competitively-priced electricity to the market.”

Sadao Fukunaga, J-Power Systems Corporation president said

“This is a great honour for us. It is the first time the state-of-the-art HVDC cable technology of Japan will be adopted in such an important European infrastructure project. Our long term experience of similar projects will help us to deliver NEMO LINK successfully and on time.”

Siemens will be responsible for the turnkey installation of both converter stations delivering 1000 MW with a transmission voltage of 400 kV DC.

Siemens HVDC Plus technology allows efficient transportation of electrical power over large distances and in particular for subsea applications. These state of the art converter stations will convert AC to DC and DC back to AC on the other side of the link. This system is highly controllable and allows power to flow in both directions. The power converters contribute to a high level of stability in the transmission system.

“We are very pleased to be working with NEMO LINK on another HVDC landmark project that will support the integration of the European energy market,” said Tim Dawidowsky, CEO of the Transmission Solutions Business Unit at Siemens. “Siemens is a world leader in high-voltage direct current transmission and has installed projects in its HVDC Plus technology with a total capacity of 4.6 Gigawatt worldwide.”

The engineering design work and site preparation should begin later this year and it’s anticipated that the interconnector will go into commercial operation in 2019.

[1] HVDC for High Voltage Direct Current

For further media information please contact

Mark Malbas mark.malbas@nationalgrid.com
Ext: +44 (0)1926 655291
Mob: +44 (07771) 342178

Preparation works begin at former Richborough power station site

Work is due to begin shortly at the former Richborough power station site to prepare for the construction of the Nemo Link® UK converter station and electricity substation.

The work will include levelling the site, filling the holes left by the cooling towers and removing old pipework associated with the former power station. The approval for these works formed part of the outline planning permission we received in December 2013 and we have worked closely with Thanet District Council to agree how they will be carried out.

We expect this work to start towards the end of May 2015 and continue until December 2015.

As part of the site preparations we would also like to construct an internal site road that is needed for the converter station and substation. We have submitted a planning application for this work to Thanet and Dover District Councils for their consideration and determination. Copies of the planning application documents are available to download here .