Plans to run electricity under sea between Kent and Belgium move forward

Richborough towers before they were pulled down Richborough towers before they were pulled down

Friday, December 20, 2013
9:32 AM

Planners given nod to application for an electricity substation, a converter station and underground cables in Thanet

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Ambitious plans to run electricity under the sea between Kent and Belgium have taken another step forward after planning permission was granted for development at the former Richborough power station site.

Thanet District Council planners nodded through an application for an electricity substation, a converter station and underground cables between Richborough and Pegwell Bay.

These will form the onshore part of the subsea interconnector link to Belgium, known as the Nemo Link.

The project is being developed jointly by National Grid Nemo Link Ltd and Belgium transmission company Elia and will be completed in 2018.

It will enable 1,000 megawatts of electricity to be traded between UK and Europe.

The subsea cables would run approximately 130 kilometres from Richborough to Zeebrugge in Belgium.

Mark Pearce, project director for National Grid, said: “We are delighted that Thanet District Council has granted us planning permission as the Richborough site is ideally suited for the development.

“We look forward to working with the local authorities, communities and interest groups as the project progresses.

“Interconnectors will have an important role in diversifying the sources of electricity for this country and helping to keep our supplies secure. It will also help create a competitive European market.”

A decision from Dover District Council is expected in the next few weeks.

Part of the project involves development on land in the Dover area.

Kent already has two interconnectors with Europe. The Interconnexion France Angleterre (IFA) runs between France and Selinge and the BritNed interconnector runs between the Netherlands and the Isle of Grain.

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