NeuConnect joined by German and UK Government Ministers to mark the start of major construction in Germany

May 21, 2024

NeuConnect today marked the start of major construction work in Germany, with Ministers from the German and UK Governments joining over 80 guests at an official ground-breaking ceremony at NeuConnect’s construction site in Wilhelmshaven, northern Germany.

Led by global investors MeridiamAllianz Capital Partners (on behalf of the Allianz companies), Kansai Electric Power and TEPCO, NeuConnect is a privately financed £2.4bn/€2.8bn project that will connect two of Europe’s largest energy markets for the first time. New converter stations will be built in Wilhelmshaven in northern Germany and on the Isle of Grain in England, connected by 725km of land and subsea cables to form an ‘invisible energy highway’. The new link will allow up to 1.4GW of electricity to flow in either direction, enough to power up to 1.5 million homes over the life of the project, helping to boost energy security and resilience in the UK and Germany. By integrating renewable energy sources in both countries, analysis shows NeuConnect could also deliver a net reduction in carbon emissions of over 13 million tonnes of CO2 over 25 years.

NeuConnect’s contractors Siemens Energy and Prysmian are now starting the construction of the converter station and cabling works in Wilhelmshaven – to mark this key milestone, a ground-breaking ceremony was held today with NeuConnect and its investors joined by key guests including: Germany’s Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Dr. Robert Habeck; Germany’s Minister of Economic Affairs of Lower Saxony Olaf Lies; UK Minister of State for Trade Policy Greg Hands; and Mayor of the City of Wilhelmshaven Carsten Feist. Speaking at today’s event, the key guests highlighted NeuConnect’s importance to energy security and sustainability, and in strengthening Anglo-German relations.

Dr. Robert Habeck, German Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection said: “The energy transition will succeed if we work together in Europe. The first German-British interconnector will help to balance out fluctuations in the output of renewable energies, increase flexibility on the electricity markets and thus maintain system stability in both countries at the highest level.”

UK Minister of State for Trade Policy Greg Hands said: “Interconnectors can play a vital role in strengthening our energy security. NeuConnect’s £2.4 billion project will connect the UK and Germany – two of Europe’s largest energy markets – for the first time, delivering electricity for millions of homes and families across the North Sea. Investment like this, which will deliver crucial new infrastructure, shows our close relationship with Germany is going from strength to strength.”

NeuConnect Chair Julia Prescot said: “Germany and the UK share a common goal of delivering a greener, more secure energy system for the future, so NeuConnect will make a vital contribution, uniting our Net Zero ambitions and strengthening the economic links between both countries. As we mark a new chapter with the start of major construction, we are particularly grateful to the German and British Governments for their continued support as this vital new energy link begins to take shape.”

Construction work at NeuConnect’s UK site on the Isle of Grain began last year, with the start of foundation works on the UK converter station starting earlier this month. With major construction also now underway in Germany, NeuConnect remains firmly on track and is expected to be operational by 2028.