National Grid starts work on the world’s longest electricity interconnector


National Grid’s Viking Link infrastructure project marks a major milestone with Siemens Energy Ltd, as the construction of the world’s longest electricity interconnector begins, representing a significant step in the UK’s journey to net zero.

The construction phase of the Viking Link Interconnector project, a high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) link between the UK and Denmark, has commenced with Siemens Energy Ltd mobilizing the site to start the construction of the first stage of works, a 2.4km long access road for the Bicker Fen converter station site.

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Siemens Energy was appointed to construct the UK and Denmark converter stations on both ends of the interconnector link. UK work started in July to build a new access road to the site. The permanent road will take nine months to complete and will enable access for the major construction equipment to the converter station and for operational vehicles to access the site once the converter station is completed in 2023.

Viking Link project is a joint venture between National Grid Ventures, part of National Grid, and the Danish electricity system owner and operator, Energinet.

The 1.4 GW high voltage electricity interconnector will be the longest in the world when completed, stretching 765km subsea and onshore connecting Lincolnshire, UK, and Revsing in South Jutland, Denmark, to enable clean energy to be shared.

UK Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “This major construction project will put Lincolnshire firmly at the heart of our economic recovery. Not only will this scheme create local green-collar jobs across the county, but it will also bolster our energy security, reduce bills for consumers, and give our home-grown renewable generators a greater chance to export zero-carbon electricity around the world.”

Mike Elmer, Viking Link Project Director for National Grid Ventures, said:
“We’ve already completed the initial groundwork with archaeological and ecological surveys as well as waterworks studies, however, this is a key construction milestone for the project. Viking Link will play a vital role in helping to decarbonise the UK’s power supply on the journey to a net zero carbon energy system. It will enable access to a cleaner greener supply of electricity, which will make energy more secure and affordable for consumers.”

Roy Tonge, Siemens Energy HVDC Operations Manager, said: “Our proven track record for completing projects of this type, not only in the UK but also around the world, will ensure we construct the Viking Link project to the highest standards, with a particular focus on the latest sustainability and low carbon construction techniques. As with all our projects we will continually have an eye on health and safety standards not only within the confines of the construction site, but also ensuring the surrounding community are kept informed and safe at all times.”

Once completed, the €2 billion subsea electricity cable will have the capacity to power one and a half million UK homes.