Dutch-UK marine power cable laying starts

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The first section of a subsea power cable link between the Netherlands and Britain, which will boost competition and supply diversity, has started to be installed, the Dutch and British grid operators said on Friday.

The 260 km long BritNed cable will link to the Isle of Grain in Kent and is set to be ready for electricity trading in the first quarter of 2011, the operators TenneT and National Grid said in a statement.

The BritNed cable, a joint venture between the grid operators, will have a capacity of 1,000 MW and is set to boost competition and diversity of electricity supply by improving connections between European power markets.

It follows the 580 km NorNed cable between the Netherlands and Norway, which was brought into operation in May 2008. The Dutch and Danish power grid operators are also mulling a possible power cable link.

Reporting by Catherine Hornby