The NorNed project, a 600 MW high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission link connecting the power grids of Norway and The Netherlands has been given the go-ahead. The contract, with the two state-owned power grid companies TenneT in the Netherlands and Statnett in Norway, was originally awarded to ABB in 2000 and is worth $270 million. The 580 km link, the longest underwater high-voltage cable in the world, will allow power trading between the two countries and increase reliability.

“NorNed is considered to be the benchmark for further cross-border interconnections in Europe,” said Peter Smits, head of ABB’s Power Technologies division, adding, “It will bring Europe closer to its target of substantially increasing power exchange capacity between countries and it marks a significant further step towards a common power market.”

Under the terms of the contract, ABB will supply two HVDC converter stations and the majority of the underwater cables. The three-year project is due to begin any day now.