First Germany-UK interconnector reaches Financial Close

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 21/07/2022 NeuConnect

The developers of
NeuConnect – a subsea cable link between the UK and Germany – have announced project reached Financial Close today (21 July 2022).

The 1,400 MW
NeuConnect project will be the first to connect German and British energy markets through a 700 km long cable route.  It will run from a converter station in Isle of Grain in Kent (UK), passing through UK, Dutch and German waters to the landing point in Lower Saxony in Germany, which also host a converter station. It aims to support the use and integration of renewable energy generation resources in both Germany and the UK.

The project is backed by Meridiam (France), Allianz Capital Partners on behalf of Allianz insurance companies (Germany) and Kansai Electric Power (Japan), NeuConnect is a privately-financed interconnector. The project reached Financial Close with a consortium of more than 20 national and international banks and financial institutions including the UK Infrastructure Bank, European Investment Bank (EIB), and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) – please see Notes to Editors for a full list.
Works will start on site in the UK and Germany later this year, with major construction to lay subsea cables and build substations starting in 2023.

To help mark NeuConnect reaching Financial Close, the project’s investors met with the UK Government’s Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands and German Ambassador to the UK Miguel Berger.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said: “Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine shows it is more important than ever that we strengthen close energy bonds with European partners who are rapidly moving away from using Russian gas. When it comes online, NeuConnect will open new opportunities for the UK to export clean, and cheaper, renewable energy and reduce our exposure to volatile global fossil fuel prices.”

Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP said: “Investment creates jobs and is crucial for helping us meet our climate change targets as we work towards a cleaner, greener future. NeuConnect’s commitment underlines the huge investor confidence in the UK economy and the strength of working with our European partners on the road to net zero.”

Miguel Berger, German Ambassador to the United Kingdom, affirmed: “Both countries Germany and the United Kingdom aim to accelerate their energy transition and to boost energy security. As a champion in offshore wind the UK is a crucial partner for us as we work towards our common goals. NeuConnect will allow our energy grids to share excess power – making sure renewable energy is not wasted.

“NeuConnect is a groundbreaking project that underpins our ever-increasing energy cooperation. With 1.4GW capacity and £2.4bn of private investment, NeuConnect is the single largest Anglo-German infrastructure project. It will boost direct trade between our countries and provide a secure source of cheap renewable energy.”

Julia Prescot, Chair of the NeuConnect Board and co-founder of lead investor Meridiam, said: “NeuConnect will create a vital new energy link at a time when sustainable, resilient connections across Europe have never been more important. Delivering innovative, highly complex projects is in our DNA at Meridiam, so as NeuConnect’s lead investor, we are proud to reach Financial Close on one of the world’s largest interconnector projects – a significant milestone that brings the first direct energy link between the UK and Germany an important step closer.”

Christoph Holzer, Managing Director at Allianz Capital Partners said: “In view of the continued strong expansion of renewable energies in the future and the associated need to strengthen the grid infrastructure, NeuConnect is making a very significant contribution to the success of the energy transition. As one of the world’s largest infrastructure investors, we are particularly delighted to have helped develop the project from the outset on behalf of our insurance customers and now, after four years, to bring it to a successful implementation. As a sustainable project that once again underlines the cohesion in Europe regardless of its borders, it will contribute to securing the future energy supply of millions of people with renewable energies.”

Mikio Matsumura, Senior Executive Vice President of Kansai Electric Power Co., said: “NeuConnect is an iconic project that will significantly contribute to the de-carbonization of electric power while ensuring security of supply. We are pleased to be working with such strong partners and are committed to supporting the project with our own technological expertise cultivated over a long history as a major power utility in Japan. As an organization, Kansai has set clear and proactive goals, such as those detailed in our ‘Zero Carbon 2050’ strategy and our ‘Medium-term Management Plan’, in order to help lead the global shift toward clean energy and a zero-carbon society. For us, the NeuConnect project represents an invaluable part of this long-term commitment.”

For more information on interconnector projects worldwide, click here. You can also view projects worldwide on 4C Offshore's Interactive map.