LONDON, June 8 (Reuters) - Belgium's Elia and Britain's National Grid have awarded two contracts jointly worth roughly 500 million euros ($558.35 million) to build the first power trade cable between Britain and Belgium to Siemens and a subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric Industries.
Siemens will build and maintain the converter stations needed to transport the electricity, while Sumitomo Electric's J-Power Systems will manufacture and lay the 140-kilometre long subsea cable.
Construction work on the 1,000-megawatt project is expected to start later this year and the interconnector is set to start operating in 2019.
The so-called NEMO link will be the first electricity import-export cable to connect Britain and Belgium and is supported by financing from the European Commission as it is deemed a project of common interest to member states.
Network operators Elia and National Grid made a final investment decision to build the project in late February. ($1 = 0.8955 euros) (Reporting by Karolin Schaps)