UK-based infrastructure group Balfour Beatty in a consortium with Prysmian Group has won a €219M contract to install a 65km power cable between France and Great Britain through the Channel Tunnel.
The contract has been awarded by ElecLink Limited — a new project to design, install and operate a high voltage direct current (HVDC) interconnector between France and Great Britain.
Upon completion, the ElecLink HVDC interconnector will have a capacity of 1GW, and will offer enough energy to power over 1.65M homes annually. The project could support the development of Europe’s ‘super grid’ project.
Balfour Beatty said that it will continue its tradition of firsts in infrastructure with the world’s first installation of a HVDC interconnector in a live rail tunnel environment.
Under the contract, two 50km cables through the North tunnel will be installed and connected to the converter stations in Northern France and Kent. Prysmian Group will design and manufacture the 320kV cabling and jointing services.
Balfour Beatty will use offsite jointing facilities in Calais and Folkestone to assemble 2.5km sections of cable and computer modelling to model the build in a virtual environment.
Balfour Beatty’s managing director for power transmission and distribution Ian Currie said: “Balfour Beatty’s expertise as an international infrastructure group has enabled us to create innovative solutions to fulfil the requirements of this project.
“As global leaders we have been trusted with the first ever installation of a High Voltage Direct Current interconnector in a live rail tunnel environment. We will draw on our extensive experience of cable tunnel engineering projects, including the London Power Tunnels electricity superhighway, to deliver the project successfully.”
The project will create up to 300 jobs in the region.
* Data provided by Timetric's Construction Intelligence Center.