NeuConnect project moves into next stage with early works now underway on UK converter station

May 9, 2024

The £2.4bn/€2.8bn NeuConnect project is moving into the next stage of construction, with foundation works now underway on a new UK converter station, keeping the delivery of a vital new energy link between the UK and Germany firmly on track.

Led by global investors MeridiamAllianz Capital PartnersKansai Electric Power and TEPCO, NeuConnect will become one of the world’s largest interconnectors – new converter stations will be built on the Isle of Grain in Kent and the Wilhelmshaven region in northern Germany, connected by 725km of land and subsea cables to form an ‘invisible energy highway’, connecting two of Europe’s largest energy markets for the first time. The new link will allow 1.4GW of electricity to flow in either direction, helping to boost energy security and resilience while also helping to integrate renewable energy sources in the UK and Germany.

Major construction in the UK started in summer 2023 with cabling contractor Prysmian carrying out Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) works to allow the subsea cables to be brought on-land – this first phase of works was completed on schedule by the end of 2023. Alongside this, NeuConnect’s other main contractor Siemens Energy also recently completed enabling works for the UK converter station allowing the project to now move into its next phase of construction that includes:

  • The start of test piling works to form the foundations of the new UK converter station: Work is now underway to install the first of ten ‘test’ piles at the site of the UK converter station on the Isle of Grain to help gather information for the main foundation works
  • Main foundation works to begin this summer: Once analysis of the test piling has been completed, the main programme of foundation works for the converter station will begin in June with additional drilling rigs brought onto site which are expected to install more than 1,400 piles up to 28m deep in total
  • Preparatory works underway on a National Grid substation: Alongside NeuConnect’s Converter Station works, National Grid have also started preparatory works for a new substation building that will connect NeuConnect into the National Electricity Transmission System (NETS) for distribution across the existing electricity network in Great Britain.

Alongside UK construction activities, work at NeuConnect’s site in Wilhelmshaven, Germany is also making good progress with major construction on track to start this month

NeuConnect CEO Arnaud Grévoz said:

“The start of early works on the UK converter station is another important step forwards for NeuConnect, and continues the good progress and strong momentum behind the project. With major construction also starting soon in Germany, the delivery of the first UK-German energy link remains firmly on track.”