NEMO LINK has announced Siemens and J-Power Systems, the Japan-based subsidiary of the Sumitomo Corporation, as the two winning contractors who will build the first interconnector between GB and Belgium.
The contracts are valued at a total of about €500 million (US$558 million).
Siemens will build the converter stations in both Kent and Zeebrugge using their high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) Plus technology and they will have a 5 year service and maintenance agreement.
J-Power Systems will design, manufacture and install the state of the art HVDC XLPE cable system - the first time it will be used operationally as an HVDC link at 400 kV.
Engineering design and site preparation work is expected to start later this year. It is anticipated that the interconnector will go into commercial operation in 2019.
Alan Foster, a NEMO LINK board member, commented:
"We are delighted that Siemens and J-Power Systems have won these contracts. The use of this state-of-the-art cable technology allied to the very efficient converter stations will make NEMO LINK the most innovative interconnector in Europe, bringing new supplies of competitively-priced electricity to the market."
NEMO LINK is the joint venture between National Grid and Elia, the Belgium Transmission System Operator, to deliver a 1 GW subsea link between the two countries. It will run 140 km and provide enough electricity to power half a million homes. The total cost of the project is expected to be around £500 million (US$764 million).
The link will increase energy security for both countries and support integration of renewable energy. The system will be highly controllable and allow power to flow in both directions. It has been designated as one of the European Commission's Projects of Common Interest as it will help create an integrated European energy market.