The Viking Link Project is an HVDC interconnector with an approximate capacity of 1400 MW. It will allow the transfer of power between the HV transmission systems of Denmark and Great Britain, passing through the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.

The link is configured for bi-directional flow, depending on the prevailing supply and demand conditions in each country.

The proposed cable route is Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire, UK to Revsing in Jutland, Denmark, a total length of approximately 761 km, with 620 km of submarine cable and 65 km and 75 km of onshore cable in Great Britain and Denmark respectively.

Last December Danish TSO Energinet and  its UK counterpart National Grid completed a joint ownership and operation agreement (JOOA) for the building of the cable. The JOOA sees each company hold 50% of the enterprise. It provided the basis for the project to take the step from the development to the establishment phase. Governments in Denmark and the UK gave their approval in 2018 and January 2019 respectively.

The project will enable both countries to import and export electricity, which will help boost the energy security of both systems during periods of high demand. It is thought that the link could tap into surplus energy from Denmark’s wind farms.

Contract awards

Prysmian, Siemens and NKT of Sweden have been awarded contracts worth a combined total 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to build what the world’s longest subsea power cable.

Britain’s National Grid and Denmark’s Energinet awarded the contract for the project’s 1.4 GW parallel high voltage current cables to Prysmian and NKT HV Cables AB of Sweden, while Siemens will supply two converter station at sites in Lincolnshire, UK and Revsing, Denmark.

The link between the two nations will help them diversify supplies and integrate renewable power sources, National Grid said. The link will offer producers, such as those adding wind capacity, more opportunities to sell surplus power.

The bulk of the work, worth 700 million euros, was won by Milan-based Prysmian, which will build Viking’s 1250 km (780 mile) submarine section and the 135 km (85 mile) section on British soil, a sign it has recovered from glitches that plagued its Western Link project between England and Scotland.

Uplift for Prysmian

National Grid operates the Western Link submarine connection, which has suffered repeated technical problems since operations began in December 2017. As a result, Prysmian restated core earnings for 2018 after booking additional writedowns. Prysmian shares rose to a nine-month high of 19.88 euros after news of the contract was announced. By 1425 GMT, they were trading up 5.6% at €19.85.

Viking Link will now move from development to the construction phase, with work in the UK and Denmark beginning next summer. Construction on the Link is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. 

Salient facts

  • Total length 473 miles (761km) between Bicker Fen, near Boston, UK, and Revsing, in southern Jutland.
  • Total project value estimated at 2 billion Euros.
  • Subsea cable of 720 km, on completion in 2023 the world’s longest subsea power cable. 

In the North Sea (through Danish, German, Dutch and UK EEZs):

  • 620 km of submarine high voltage DC cables buried in the seabed for as much of their length as practicable.

In Great Britain:

  • Onshore high voltage DC cables from the Lincolnshire coast to a new converter station.
  • New converter station for DC and AC and vice versa.
  • AC cables from the converter station to new equipment within the existing 400 kV Bicker Fen substation which connects to the existing HV transmission grid.

In Denmark:

  • New equipment at the existing Revsing 400 kV substation and AC cables (gas insulated) to connect the existing HV transmission network to a new converter station.
  • New converter station for AC to DC and vice versa.
  • Onshore HVDC cables from the converter station to the coast in western Denmark.