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Construction commences on Celtic Interconnector project

2 November 2023

In an important step forward for Ireland’s energy future, construction works have begun on the Celtic Interconnector project.

Construction works on the cable route from Knockraha, in east Cork have commenced on this strategic energy project, which, once delivered, will be able to import and export enough electricity to power 450,000 homes.

Developed by EirGrid and its French counterpart, Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE), the Celtic Interconnector is a 700-megawatt high-voltage subsea power cable linking the electricity grids of Ireland and France. It will be the first interconnector between Ireland and continental Europe.

Cable construction works on this project, which will travel 575 kilometres from east Cork to the north-west coast of Brittany, are being carried out on the ground by subcontractor Sorensen Civil Engineering Ltd, on behalf of cable manufacturer Nexans, working on behalf of EirGrid.

Nexans will design and install the 575-kilometre cable between the two countries, while Siemens Energy will deliver the converter station at Ballyadam, as well as other high-voltage transmission technology required at the network connection point at Knockraha.

During works, local access to homes, businesses and emergency vehicles will be maintained, with disruption kept to a minimum.

Speaking about the latest phase of the project, Michael Mahon, EirGrid chief infrastructure officer said:                             

These works mark the next step on Ireland’s energy transition journey. Thanks to the collaboration and cooperation of communities, agencies, and contractors, we are now able to progress these works. Linking our electricity grid with mainland Europe will not only mean greater prosperity for Ireland but will establish Cork as an energy hub.

Mahon continued: “This transformative project is set to act as a catalyst in assuring Ireland’s energy security, along with delivering many other benefits, including applying downward pressure on the cost of electricity to consumers in Ireland and France. Once again, we thank the people of east Cork and the wider region for continuing to engage with us as we deliver this critical infrastructure.”

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