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Viking Link Project, UK–Denmark [free access]

January 6, 2020

Developers: National Grid Viking Link (NGVL), subsidiary of UK’s National Grid and of Denmark


Project details and status: The Viking Link project, with an expected transfer capacity of 1,400 MW, will connect a substation at Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire, UK, to the Revsing substation in Denmark. The 700-km, high voltage direct current (HVDC) link is expected to allow export of electricity from the UK to Denmark in case of surplus generation in the UK. However, the cable will mostly be used to export wind power generated in Denmark to the UK, as Denmark already has surplus power. The power link will allow the UK to trade with the wider European, Scandinavian and Nordic electricity markets and bring additional sources of renewable energy to the country’s power market. The UK is also considering building power links with Belgium and Norway.


The project will enhance the cross-border transmission capacity between both countries, thereby facilitating the incorporation of more renewable energies. This is a long-term project and is under consideration as per European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity’s (ENTSO-E) ten-year network development plan (TYNDP).


In March 2016, awarded a contract to UK-based RPS Energy Limited for providing Client Representative Services related to the cable route survey for the project. In April the same year, NGVL identified three potential cable landfall sites—at Huttoft Bank; a point just south of Sandilands Golf Course; and Anderby Creek. It also identified four possible converter station sites near the Bicker Fen substation.


In March 2017, NGVL confirmed the preferred route corridor options for two sections of the underground cable route corridor, known as the purple route corridor. Subject to survey, the north section to the east of Aswardby, Langton and Sausthorpe and the south section to the west of the South Forty Foot Drain have been chosen as the preferred route options for the direct current (DC) cables.


In July 2017, NGVL and invited international competitive bids for undertaking onshore civil works for the installation of cables from the shoreline to the connection point to the grid for the project. Meanwhile, in September 2017, the two companies issued a tender for undertaking Unexploded Explosive Ordnance (UXO) survey and inspection services for the project.


In October 2017, Denmark’s energy minister approved DKK11 billion worth investment by the for the development of the link.


In January 2018, European Union (EU), under its Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) granted EUR2.8 million for undertaking UXO risk mitigation stage 1 study for the project.


In April 2018, and National Grid announced their decision to postpone the final investment decision (FID) on the project. Later in June 2018, the project developers failed to secure an approval from one of the four affected local planning authorities.


Post the attainment of required consents and licenses, in July 2019, the two developers awarded EUR1.1 billion contract to the Italian Prysmian Group, German multinational conglomerate Siemens and Swedish cable manufacturer NKT, for the construction of the project. Under the latter, Prysmian Group has bagged the EUR700 million contract for the design, manufacture, and installation of the 1,250 km, USC and approximately 135 km of UGC on the UK side; while NKT bagged the EUR90 million contract for the supply of 150 km, 525 kV mass impregnated (MI) HVDC onshore cables from the Danish coast to the Revsing substation (Southern Jutland).


Recently, in December 2019, the two developers awarded the UK’s construction company Balfour Beatty, a GBP90 million contract to deliver the onshore civil works for the project. As part of the four-year contract, Balfour Beatty will be responsible for the civil engineering and installation of 68 km of HV cabling across Lincolnshire.


The interconnector is listed as a Project of Common Interest (PCI) as it supports the EU’s efforts towards developing a common European electricity market. According to officials of National Grid, the project cost is expected to be around EUR1 billion.


The Viking Link is scheduled for commissioning in end-2023.


(EUR1=USD1.12; DKK1=USD0.15)