Work to begin on first Anglo-German interconnector

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Work on the first direct link between the UK and German energy markets is set to begin following financial close of the £2.4bn NeuConnect project.

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Led by France’s Meridiam, Germany’s Allianz Capital Partners and Japan’s Kansai Electric Power, the privately-financed NeuConnect interconnector will span 725km and is expected to be operating by 2028.

The project reached financial close on July 21, 2022 with a consortium of over 20 national and international banks and financial institutions including the UK Infrastructure Bank, European Investment Bank (EIB), and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

By integrating renewable energy sources in the UK and Germany, independent analysis shows that the project could deliver a net reduction in carbon emissions of over 13MtCO2 over 25 years.

In a statement, Miguel Berger, Germany’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, said: “Germany and the United Kingdom aim to accelerate their energy transition and to boost energy security. As a champion in offshore wind the UK is a crucial partner for us as we work towards our common goals. NeuConnect will allow our energy grids to share excess power – making sure renewable energy is not wasted.

“NeuConnect is a groundbreaking project that underpins our ever-increasing energy cooperation. With 1.4GW capacity and £2.4bn of private investment, NeuConnect is the single largest Anglo-German infrastructure project. It will boost direct trade between our countries and provide a secure source of cheap renewable energy.”

The NeuConnect interconnector will see two new substations built on the Isle of Grain in Kent, England and the Wilhelmshaven region in Lower Saxonia, northern Germany, connected by over 700km of subsea cables travelling through British, Dutch and German waters. Works will start on site in the UK and Germany later this year, with major construction to lay subsea cables and build substations starting in 2023.