21 March 2022 - Construction under way on 190km HVDC electricity interconnector linking Ireland and Wales
Greenlink Interconnector Limited (GIL) has announced financial close on construction of the 500MW 190km subsea and underground electricity interconnector that will connect the power grids of Ireland and Great Britain. The project is the first privately-financed interconnector in Europe supported under the Cap and Floor regulatory regimes in the UK and Ireland and represents a total investment of over €500m.
Partners Group, a leading global private markets firm, which owns Greenlink on behalf of its clients, has secured debt financing for the project with a consortium of banks to fund construction.
The contract for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) was awarded in September last year to a consortium comprised of Siemens Energy AG (Siemens Energy) and Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. (Sumitomo Electric). Onshore works have begun in Wexford and Pembrokeshire and the project will have a three-year construction period, before commissioning at the end of 2024.
The Greenlink project comprises a 160km subsea high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cable system, two converter stations, a tail station at Great Island in Wexford, Ireland, and onshore cable works in Wexford and Pembrokeshire, Wales. The project’s nominal capacity of 500MW is equivalent to powering around 380,000 homes. As well as providing downward pressure on wholesale energy prices, the new grid connection will provide greater security of supply for electricity consumers.
James O’Reilly, CEO of Greenlink, commented:
“We are delighted to have reached financial close on one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects. It will deliver a range of benefits at this critical time in the energy transition, from local jobs and investment to energy security and the cost-effective integration of renewables to help Ireland and the UK meet their climate change goals. This milestone is testament to a great deal of skill and hard work from the Greenlink team and our advisers, with the support of stakeholders. We look forward to working with Partners Group, the EPC contractors and the local community to achieve successful delivery of the project in 2024.”
Greenlink has been granted Cap and Floor agreements by Ofgem in Great Britain and the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) in Ireland. The Cap and Floor regime is an arrangement introduced by the GB and Irish regulators to promote the development, financing and construction of electricity interconnectors where demonstrably beneficial to consumers.
Greenlink will offer important employment and supply chain opportunities during construction and the EPC contractors have held ‘Meet-the-Buyer’ events in Wales and Ireland to engage with potential suppliers. Proactive engagement with residents and the local communities in the vicinity of the project will continue throughout the construction phase and details of how to contact the local project teams can be found on the Greenlink website.