First power link between UK and Germany gets financial green light

Power-generating wind turbines are pictured at the ‘Amrumbank West’ offshore wind farm in the North Sea near the island of Amrum, Germany, September 4, 2015. REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen/

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LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) – A financial deal was struck on Thursday to build the first power cable linking Britain and Germany, with construction due to start later this year as the two countries scramble to reduce their dependence on Russian gas and to increase the use of green energy.

Dubbed NeuConnect, the £2.4 billion (€2.8 billion) link project is expected to be operational by 2028 and, 725 kilometers (450 miles) long, mostly under the sea, will one of the largest interconnection projects in the world.

The cables could transfer up to 1.4 gigawatts (GW) of electricity to run back and forth between Britain and Germany, according to a statement released by NeuConnect.

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“Russian President Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine shows that it is more important than ever that we strengthen close energy ties with European partners who are rapidly moving away from using Russian gas,” he said. UK Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Greg Hands.

The project is financed by the French Meridiam, the German Allianz Capital Partners and the Japanese Kansai Electric Power (9503.T) with a consortium of more than 20 banks and financial institutions, including the UK Infrastructure Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the EIB, which is to contribute 400 million euros to the project, declared: “This project is revolutionary for the energy transition, because it makes it possible to use offshore wind power more efficiently. .”

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Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; edited by Barbara Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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