UK-Norway 1.4 GW interconnector passed the halfway point

In: CablesInterconnectors
Construction of the world’s longest subsea power cable, between UK and Norway, has now passed the halfway point. North Sea Link (NSL) is a joint venture project between National Grid and its Norwegian counterpart Statnett. The NSL will run from Blyth in Northumberland on the northeast coast of the UK to Kvilldal in Rogaland on the Norwegian side. HVDC converter stations on each side will connect the link to the onshore grid. The 1.4 GW interconnector will allow the UK to import enough Norwegian hydro energy to power up to 1.4 million homes.

Prior to cable-laying in Norway, the team had to build floating platforms in lake Suldalsvatnet, which cannot be accessed by the cable laying vessel due to its size.

The laying of 2.8km parallel subsea cables was executed from a 43 x 15 metre platform, at depths of  up to 210 metres. Within 12 hours, cable laying equipment was installed and 150 tonnes of cable were loaded on board.

Nigel Williams, Construction Director for National Grid North Sea link commented, ‘The engineering that has taken place to lay high-voltage cables below the seabed is remarkable. The difficult terrain, the depth of the waters, and all in amidst of operating during a pandemic has made it extremely challenging. Nevertheless, we have powered through and remained on track with our project timelines.’

National grid has confirmed that the next step is to lay the cable out from the fjords in Suldal, to the North Sea in summer 2020. Following this, the two parallel 720km cables between Cambois, Northumberland in the UK and Kvilldal in Norway will be completed by 2021.

Nexans was awarded a contract to supply the fjord, tunnel and lake sections, as well as the onshore connection in Norway. The cables will be laid by Nexans’ own cable-laying vessel, C/S Nexans Skagerrak, and protected on the seabed by trenching with Nexans’ Capjet system and rock dumping.
Prysmian Cables will supply and install 950 km of submarine and land cables for the UK and Norwegian North Sea sections of the route. The converter stations in both the UK and Norway will be delivered by ABB.

North Sea Link will be operational by 2021.

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