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New UK-France electricity interconnector

Commissioning of the subsea interconnector system is scheduled for 2020

The HVDC cable will run under the English Channel from Tourbe in France to Chilling in the UK
The HVDC cable will run under the English Channel from Tourbe in France to Chilling in the UK

National Grid IFA2 – part of National Grid UK – and RTE of France are working together to establish a 320kV subsea interconnector between Chilling in the UK and Tourbe, France.


The Euro350m contract for the 240km submarine and land power cable link between the countries has been awarded to Prysmian Group which will be responsible for its turn-key design, manufacture and installation.


The high voltage direct current (HVDC) interconnection will operate at ± 320kV DC and will allow up to 1,000MW of power to be transferred between the countries. Commissioning of the system is scheduled for 2020.


The HVDC cable system comprises approximately 25km route length in France, running from Tourbe converter station in Northern France to the landing point close to Caen. The subsea route is some 200km and will land at the south coast of the UK at Solent Airport near Fareham where the UK converter station will be located.


In addition to the HVDC cable link, the contract includes a high voltage alternating current (HVAC) link that will connect the converter station to a local substation in Chilling, UK. This includes 2km land sections at each end with a 5km subsea section between them.


“This is a prestigious project for Prysmian, and we are delighted to have been selected by two of our most important customers, National Grid and RTE, highlighting our worldwide market and technological leadership in submarine cable transmission systems”, said Massimo Battaini, senior vice president energy projects at the Italian cable maker.


The subsea cables will be manufactured in the Prysmian production facility in Pikkala, Finland, while the land cables will be manufactured at the Prysmian factory in Gron, France.


Installation of the land sections will also involve resources and facilities from Prysmian France and Prysmian UK, whose headquarters are situated in the local area. Prysmian’s cable laying vessels Cable Enterprise and Ulisse will be utilised in the installation of the cables.



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