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JOINT PRESS RELEASE

BEI/09/245

9 December 2009

European Investment Bank support joint venture between National Grid and TenneT to build interconnector

EUR 300m for construction of electricity interconnector between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands

The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide EUR 300m for the construction of the BritNed Interconnector, a new electricity transmission cable between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The BritNed cable is a 50:50 joint venture, between National Grid and TenneT, who operate the grids. It will have a capacity of 1,000 MW and make a significant contribution to the security and diversity of electricity supplies in both the UK and the Netherlands. The interconnector will also boost competition by improving connections with European markets.

The European Investment Bank will contribute 50% of the overall EUR 600m project cost. National Grid will receive EUR 150m following an agreement signed with the EIB on Monday, while Tennet will receive a further EUR 150m following a formal agreement today, Wednesday.

Simon Brooks, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for lending operations in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands said: “BritNed will be a key element of European electricity infrastructure, enabling greater electricity trading, and improving security of supply, for the benefit of both the UK and the Netherlands”.

Bill Russell, National Grid’s Director for the BritNed joint venture said "This is a key business for National Grid which will help to enhance security of supply in the UK and facilitate further competition. Work is already well underway and we look forward to seeing the benefits it will bring to Europe.

Mel Kroon, CEO of TenneT said: “The BritNed cable provides a significant number of advantages, for producers and consumers alike. Thanks to BritNed, international trade will increase which will result in more stable prices for electricity in both countries and furthermore improves the security of supply. BritNed represents an important physical link on the road to a strong European power supply market.”

The high-voltage direct current (HVDC) submarine power cable will be between the Isle of Grain in Kent (UK), and Maasvlakte near Rotterdam (The Netherlands). The interconnector is already under construction and is expected to be completed by December, 2010. The BritNed link will be available for commercial operations in the first quarter of 2011.

Notes for Editors:

  • The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending bank of the European Union. The development and expansion of so-called Trans-European Networks (TENs) is one of the key objectives of the EIB. TENs are trans-European energy, transport and telecommunications networks that are considered essential for the social and economic integration of the European Union. The EIB has become one of Europe’s largest lending banks for projects of this kind.

  • The 260 kilometre BritNed HVDC link will be made up of some 250 km bundled marine cables buried below the bottom of the sea-bed and land cables accessing both converter stations.

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