NeuConnect’s major £1bn procurement programme moves to next stage, keeping vital new energy link firmly on track

December 19, 2019

NeuConnect’s major £1bn procurement programme moves to next stage, keeping vital new energy link firmly on track

The NeuConnect interconnector project has officially launched the Invitation to Tender (ITT) stage of its major £1bn procurement programme. Following strong market interest when contract opportunities were first unveiled in April, pre-qualified tenderers have now been invited to make detailed submissions.

NeuConnect is a fully privately-financed interconnector that will create the first direct link between UK and German networks. The 700km new link between the Isle of Grain in Kent and Wilhelmshaven in Northern Germany will allow 1.4GW of electricity to flow in either direction – enough to power 35 million homes over the life of the project.

Connecting two of Europe’s largest energy markets for the first time will deliver a more diverse, resilient and sustainable electricity supply in Germany and the UK, while also helping to lower costs for consumers.

The project’s major procurement activities were launched in April, covering over £1bn of Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts that cover:

– Converter Stations: Two converter stations and AC connection works in the UK and Germany, including a single maintenance and emergency repair contract covering both UK and Germany converters for an initial term of 10 years.
– HVDC Cabling: 720km of HVDC Cables, including a single maintenance and emergency repair contract for the entire cable length for an initial term of 10 years.

Given the scale and significance of the project, NeuConnect’s priority will be to appoint suppliers that have the expertise and capability to deliver the works safely and efficiently, using proven, reliable technologies that maximise consumer benefits.

NeuConnect CEO Christophe Vanhove said: “This is another important milestone for NeuConnect and keeps the delivery of this vital new energy link firmly on track. NeuConnect have seen strong interest from the supply chain and we are encouraged by the calibre and expertise of suppliers that have pre-qualified for this important next stage of our procurement activities.”

The official launch of the ITT stage of NeuConnect’s procurement programme follows a period of strong progress for the project over the last 18 months including:

– Over 700km of seabed surveys completed ahead of schedule;
– Local planning and permitting process in determination in the UK and underway in Netherlands and Germany;
– Grid connection agreements secured in the UK and Germany;
– Continued engagement with UK regulator Ofgem including being awarded a UK interconnector licence;
– In Germany, the regulator BNetZA are expected to include NeuConnect in their Ten-Year Network Development Plan;
– Inclusion in list of Europe’s ‘priority energy projects’ with NeuConnect named in the European Commission’s latest list of ‘Projects of Common Interest’.

NeuConnect is being developed by an international, experienced consortium that includes Meridiam, Allianz Capital Partners on behalf of Allianz Group and Kansai Electric Power, with the project also supported by Greenage Power and Frontier Power as developers. The key partners bring a proven track record in delivering large-scale energy infrastructure.