EIB contributes to BritNed project

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide €300m (£271m) for the construction of the BritNed Interconnector, a new electricity transmission cable between the UK 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 1,000MW and make a significant contribution to the security and diversity of electricity supplies in both the UK and the Netherlands.

The EIB will contribute 50 per cent of the overall €600m project cost. National Grid will receive €150m while TenneT will receive a further €150m.

The 260km high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) submarine power cable will be between the Isle of Grain in Kent and Maasvlakte near Rotterdam in 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.

Simon Brooks, EIB vice-president responsible for lending operations in the UK 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.’

Mel Kroon, chief executive officer at TenneT, added: ‘Thanks to BritNed international trade will increase, which will result in more stable prices for electricity in both countries and improve the security of supply. BritNed represents an important physical link on the road to a strong European power supply market.’