Eurotunnel subsidiary ElecLink has awarded a joint venture between Balfour Beatty and cable manufacturer Prysmian Group the £185M contract to install a 65km high voltage direct current interconnector in the Channel Tunnel.
The interconnector is the first in the world to be installed in a live rail tunnel.
Europe’s planned super gird project could be supported by the interconnector. The super grid would enable regions to share energy, boosting renewables use and lowering costs.
With a 1GW capacity the interconnector could power up to 2M homes per year.
“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,” said Balfour Beatty power transition and distribution managing director Ian Currie.
“We will draw on our extensive experience of cable tunnel engineering projects, including the London Power Tunnels electricity superhighway, to deliver the project successfully.”
Two 50km cables will be laid through the Channel Tunnel’s north bore, connecting to converter stations in northern France and Kent. Cable manufacturer Prysmian Group will design and manufacture the 320kV cables and joints.
Offsite jointing facilities in Calais and Folkestone will be used to assemble 2.5km sections of cable.