Nemo Link, the joint venture between Elia and National Grid that will operate the first electricity interconnection between Belgium and the UK, has started laying the first 59km of double subsea cable between the UK onshore landing point and the French offshore section.
On September 11, the cable was successfully pulled-in at the beach of Pegwell Bay (Kent, UK), a key milestone of the project delivered by the vessels Maersk Connector and BoDo Installer.
The majority of the UK part for the subsea interconnector already finds itself on the seabed, but trenching is still required so that the cable is safely installed.
The remaining 71km of double subsea cable will be installed in Belgium territorial waters during spring 2018.
The electricity interconnector is scheduled to be taken into use early 2019, allowing two way energy flows between the UK and Belgium.
Chris Peeters, CEO of Elia: “We are very excited that the project is progressing so well. Nemo Link, Elia’s first project with controllable direct current (HVDC), is another step towards further European integration of the electricity grid. A well-integrated electricity grid is for the benefit of the consumers and the general wellfare, as it provides access to cheap, renewable energy anywhere in Europe and allows to export excess energy when necessary.”
John Pettigrew, National Grid CEO, said: “Reaching this milestone is a great achievement for the project team and a clear indication that the first ever electricity link between Belgium and the UK has moved a big step closer. We’re delighted to be working together with our Belgian partners to build a link that will deliver secure and sustainable electricity to customers in both countries for decades to come.”