Norwegian power transmission operator Statnet, along with UK’s National Grid, has awarded contracts totalling €1.5bn to construct the North Sea Network (NSN) link, which will connect the country with the UK.
Switzerland-based ABB has won a $450m order to deliver high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations for the interconnector in both the countries.
Cable suppliers Prysmian and Nexans have been awarded orders to deliver the cable required for the 740km NSN link, which is the first direct connection between the two European countries.
The project is a joint venture (JV) by the UK National grid and Statnett. It will support increased production and usage of renewable energy in Norway and the UK.
NSN will have a capacity for 1.4GW of power transmission and will run from Blyth in Northumberland, UK to Kvilldal in Rogaland, Norway. It is expected to be operational from 2021.
ABB will be responsible for the design, supply and commissioning of the ±525 kV converter stations, which will feature Voltage Source Converter (VSC) technology.
ABB Power Systems president Claudio Facchin said: "HVDC is a proven solution for the integration of renewables and the reliable and efficient long-distance transmission of power, often subsea or underground.
"This project is the 18th HVDC (high-voltage, direct current) cross-border interconnection to be executed by ABB in Europe and we are pleased to play our part in enabling a more integrated European energy network."
While Prysmian will deliver and install 950 km of submarine and land cables for the UK and Norwegian North Sea sections of the route, Nexans will be responsible for the fjord, tunnel and lake sections and onshore connection in Norway.
National Grid European Business Development director Alan Foster said: "There is a huge programme of work for us to undertake over the next five years to deliver what will be the world’s longest interconnector. Our contractors will have a big part to play in that successful delivery.
"But the benefits to both UK and Norway are also huge and when completed, the link will deliver low-carbon electricity for the UK and also add to security of supply for Norwegian consumers."
Image: Nexans will supply the fjord, tunnel and lake sections, and an onshore connection in Norway. Photo: courtesy of Nexans.