The EGL1 project will see the construction of a 190 km 525 kV, 2 GW HVDC subsea link between Torness in East Lothian, Scotland, and Hawthorn Pit in County Durham, England, while the EGL2 plan consists of a 436 km 525 kV, 2 GW subsea HVDC transmission system linking Peterhead in Scotland to Drax in England. The latter would be the longest HVDC link in the UK and has been described as the UK’s “single largest electricity transmission project ever.”

For EGL1, SP Transmission (SPT) and National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) have selected GE Vernova’s Grid Solutions business and MYTILINEOS as preferred suppliers for the two converter stations, and Prysmian Group has been selected as the exclusive preferred bidder for the HVDC cabling contract.

Following “final approval of regulatory allowances” from Ofgem, full contracts for EGL1 are expected to be complete later this year with construction work due to begin in 2024. The target operational date is 2029.

For the EGL2 converter stations, SSEN Transmission and NGET have selected Hitachi Energy in partnership with BAM as preferred suppliers.

Prysmian Group has been selected as preferred bidder for the EGL2 cable and the proposed project schedule is similar to that for EGL1, with work expected to start in 2024, following final approval from Ofgem, and a targetted operational date of 2029.

National Grid has recently launched what it calls “The Great Grid Upgrade”, the “largest overhaul of the grid in generations” and a multibillion investment in new electricity transmission projects across England and Wales. The Upgrade includes further subsea links between Scotland and England, and proposals for the Humber and East Anglia regions (including a further subsea link between Suffolk and Kent).

In Scotland, SSEN Transmission plans to invest over £10 billion to upgrade the network around key areas, connecting new onshore and offshore renewables generation in the north of Scotland, as part of its ‘Pathway to 2030’ programme,

supporting the delivery of Scotland and the UK’s net zero targets. The programme comprises nine significant onshore and subsea projects, including EGL2.

Prysmian’s progress

The EGL1 and EGL2 preferred supplier awards are among a number of recent successes reported by Prysmian Group. These include:

  • A contract from Terna for the 250 km 1000 MW Adriatic Link HVDC project which will see subsea cables deployed in the Adriatic Sea to increase exchange of power between the central-southern and central-northern areas of Italy.
  • A capacity reservation agreement with Marinus Link Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of the Australian TSO TasNetworks, for a new power interconnector between Tasmania and Victoria, Australia.
  • Successful installation and HV testing of 1400 km of submarine and land cables comprising the 765 km long UK–Denmark Viking Link Interconnector. A joint venture of National Grid and Energinet, it will be the world’s longest operating HVDC interconnector when it enters service, anticipated to be by the end of 2023.
  • Selection by Amprion as preferred bidder for Germany’s BalWin1 and BalWin2 offshore grid wind connection systems and DC34 underground cable project, and signing of cabling contracts with 50Hertz for LanWin3 and part of NordOstLink.