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June 8, 2015

Siemens and J–Power win €500m contract to build NEMO transmission link between UK and Belgium

Siemens and J-Power Systems, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric Industries have secured a €500m contract to build first electricity interconnector between the UK and Belgium.

By Shreosree Banerjee

Siemens and J-Power Systems, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric Industries have secured a €500m contract to build first electricity interconnector between the UK and Belgium.

German company Siemens has won an order to deliver a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system for Nemo Link, while J-Power Systems will be responsible for design, manufacture and installation of the HVDC XLPE cable system.

Nemo Link is a joint venture (JV) between the British grid operator National Grid and Belgian Transmission System Operator Elia Group.

The project scope includes turnkey installation of both converter stations using Siemen’s HVDC Plus technology, which has a transmission voltage of ±400kV DC.

"The project scope includes turnkey installation of both converter stations using Siemen’s HVDC Plus technology, which has a transmission voltage of ±400kV DC."

Once operational, the HVDC system will have a transmission capacity of 1GW of power, which will be enough to meet the power requirements of 500,000 households.

Extending over 140km from Richborough on the Kent coast and Zeebrugge near the city of Brugge, the link will have a combination of subsea and underground cables.

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Nemo Link intends to complete the project and turn the subsea link operational by 2019.

As a part of the order, Siemens will also be responsible for service and maintenance of the project for five-year duration.

The link will connect two high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) electricity systems separated by the North Sea.

Converter stations for both sides will use HVDC Plus voltage-sourced converters in a modular multilevel converter arrangement (VSC-MMC).

The project is in line with the European Commission’s aim to integrate the energy market of the European Union members.

NEMO LINK board member Alan Foster said: "The use of this state-of-the-art cable technology allied to the very efficient converter stations will make NEMO LINK the most innovative interconnector in Europe, bringing new supplies of competitively-priced electricity to the market."

As well as boosting energy security for the UK and Belgium, the link is expected to support integration of energy derived from renewable sources, including offshore wind.

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