The signature comes shortly after the first part for the interconnector was signed with TSO TenneT for the German side of the project. Once completed, a bipolar high voltage direct current (HVDC) link will connect Norway and Germany across the North Sea. The project will have a rated capacity of 1400 MW, terminal voltage of +/- 500 kV and a total length of 624 km.
The EIB Vice-President responsible for Energy Andrew McDowell commented: “The security of supply and effective use of renewable energy remain high on the agenda for EIB financing. Germany has long regarded the sustainability of the energy it uses as very important and the interconnector will allow it to import Norwegian hydro energy when needed, while also allowing exportation of its own surplus renewable generation towards Scandinavia. The EU Bank has set itself the goal of channeling at least 25% of its investments towards climate action relevant projects, and this project is a perfect example of how serious we take this."
“With a total investment of 1,5-2 Bn Euros, The NordLink interconnector is one of Statnetts largest investments. This project is a major step towards a more climate friendly and integrated energy system, and contributes to more renewable energy in both countries. The participation of EIB in funding the project is a great advantage and adds a significant part of Statnett's funding portfolio. NordLink is the third interconnector that the EIB has helped Statnett finance and we strongly appreciate EIB's continued commitment and support to help finance a more electric and climate friendly future,” added Knut Hundhammer, CFO of Statnett.
The loan is the first EIB project in Norway since 2015, when it lent EUR 200 million for the expansion of Bergen Airport. This new interconnector project will improve diversification and security of supply and enhance electricity market integration in both countries, and more widely between Northwest Europe and Scandinavian countries. It is also designated as a Project of Common Interest in the Priority Corridor Northern Seas Offshore Grid.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the European Union’s long-term financing institution lending for investments that contribute to achieving the EU’s objectives. Founded in 1958, it operates in the 28 EU Member States, the EU’s neighbour countries and more than 100 other countries around the globe. Since 1994 the Bank can lend to eligible projects in Iceland under the EFTA Facility. This mandate enables the Bank to support projects notably in the sectors of energy, environment, research, development and innovation located in the territories of the EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).
Statnett is the transmission system operator (TSO) in the Norwegian energy system. This means planning and coordinating the operation of the country's electric power system, maintaining the balance between supply and demand at all times, and operating about 11 000 km of high voltage power lines and 150 stations all over Norway. Statnett is also responsible for the interconnectors to Sweden, Finland, Russia, Denmark and the Netherlands. The Statnett Group has app. 1400 employees. Statnett is a state enterprise, established under the Act relating to state-owned enterprises and owned by the Norwegian state through the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.