Construction starts on £2.4bn NeuConnect project in Kent

NeuConnect start of works in the UK

Construction is now underway on the £2.4bn/€2.8bn NeuConnect project - a vital new energy link between the UK and Germany that will connect two of Europe’s largest energy markets for the first time. 

Led by global investors Meridiam, Allianz Capital Partners, Kansai Electric Power and TEPCO, NeuConnect will become one of the world’s largest interconnectors. 

Some 725km of land and subsea cables will form an ‘invisible energy highway’ between the UK and Germany, allowing up to 1.4GW of 

electricity to flow in either direction, helping to boost energy security and resilience while also helping to integrate renewable energy sources in both countries. 

NeuConnect will construct new converter stations on the Isle of Grain in Kent, England and the Wilhelmshaven region in Lower Saxony, northern Germany, connected by subsea cables travelling through British, Dutch and German waters. NeuConnect’s main contractors, Prysmian Group and Siemens Energy, have now started works in the UK, with preparatory works also underway in Germany where construction will begin in early 2024.

Minister for Investment, Lord Johnson said: “This £2.4bn project doesn’t just demonstrate continued global investor confidence in the UK, but also the successful work we are doing with our European neighbours to drive investment and deliver vital new infrastructure. "The first spade in the ground is a significant milestone on a project of national importance, so I offer my congratulations to NeuConnect and its investors.”

Miguel Berger, German Ambassador to the United Kingdom, said: “NeuConnect is a key project to support Germany and the UK in achieving their climate targets and to boost energy security. 

"It is the largest Anglo-German infrastructure project and will enable us to share excess power – preventing renewable energy from being wasted."

He added NeuConnect’s 725km power highway will be the first direct energy link between the UK and Germany. 

"With construction underway in Kent, and major construction due tostart early next year in Wilhelmshaven at the German end, speedy progress can be expected,” he said.

NeuConnect is expected to be operational by 2028, helping to deliver greater energy resilience, security of supply and consumer benefits as it will allow up to 1.4GW of electricity to flow in either direction between the UK and Germany.

This is enough to power up to 1.5 million homes over the life of the project. 

Independent analysis shows the project has the potential to create over £1.7bn in UK consumer benefits over 25 years.

The project also aims to bring about a significant reduction in Carbon Dioxide, supporting net zero goals.

NeuConnect also represents an important symbolic link between the British and German economies, with the project’s significance to Anglo-German relations recently highlighted by His Majesty The King and the German President.

UK Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary Grant Shapps said: “NeuConnect will be the first ever power line between the UK and Germany and is central to my mission to bolster national energy security while also strengthening our important ties with a North Sea ally. 

"With the potential to power 1.5 million homes from 2028 with reliable, affordable and clean power, I am delighted to see construction commence, with this exciting infrastructure set to protect the UK’s energy security for generations to come.”

Julia Prescot, chair of NeuConnect, said: “At a time when sustainable, resilient energy links across Europe have never been more important, the start of construction on NeuConnect is a huge milestone and an important step in the race to Net Zero. 

"With work now accelerating across the project, the first link between two of Europe’s largest energy markets is moving ever closer, and we are grateful for the continued support of our Government, industry, and financial partners as we deliver this vital project.”

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