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UPDATE 1-Norwegian-German power cable project delayed until 2019
February 10, 2015 / 6:31 PM / in 3 years

UPDATE 1-Norwegian-German power cable project delayed until 2019

(Updates with project completion date, quotes)

OSLO, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The first power cable interconnection between Norway and Germany will be in place by the end of 2019, a year later than originally planned, due to insufficient cable production capacities, Norway’s grid operator, Statnett, said on Tuesday.

The link would enable Norway to import cheaper wind and solar power from Germany while storing energy in its water reservoirs, and export power to Germany when output from intermittent renewables drop there.

Norwegian and German grid companies and Germany’s development bank KfW made the final investment decision on Tuesday on the 1.5-2 billion-euro ($1.7-2.3 billion) project.

“The interconnector will be finished in the fourth quarter, 2019, and after a trial period it will be in commercial operations in 2020,” said Christer Gilje, a spokesman at Statnett.

The original plan was to have the link in place in 2018.

“After negotiations with suppliers we found that there was not enough production capacities. There are not so many producers to provide this cable,” he added.

Gilje declined to comment further citing a 10-day standstill period for contracts with suppliers for the cable and converters.

The high voltage direct-current (HVDC) interconnector, NordLink, will be over 600 km long, including a subsea section of more than 500 km, and will have a capacity of 1,400 megawatts (MW), sufficient to supply power to more than 600,000 households.

Leading submarine direct-current cable and related equipment manufacturers include ABB, Siemens, Nexans , Prysmian and Alstom.

Statnett, the German arm of Dutch grid operator TenneT and KfW, represented by KfW IPEX-Bank, signed the ownership agreement on Tuesday, the companies said in a statement earlier on Tuesday.

The project will be 50 percent owned by Statnett and 50 percent by DC Nordseekabel GmbH&Co, a joint venture equally owned by the German arm of TenneT and KfW.

The cable, which will run from the southern Norwegian town of Tonstad to Wilster on Germany’s northern coast, will increase security of supplies for both countries.

Meanwhile TenneT (IPO-TTH.AS) also plans to build a 700 MW subsea cable linking the Netherlands and Denmark.

Norway also plans to build another interconnector of 1,400 MW capacity to Britain by 2020 and Statnett expects to make the final investment decision in the first quarter of 2015. ($1 = 0.8832 euros) (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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