In April, EIB also agreed to provide TenneT, transmission system operator on the German side, with a loan of €350m to finance the Nordlink interconnector, the first interconnection between Germany and Norway across the North Sea.

The Nordlink is claimed to be a bipolar high voltage direct current (HVDC) link, which will have a rated capacity of 1.4GW, with terminal voltage of +/- 500 kV and a total length of 624 km.

The total estimated investment for the Nordlink interconnector is about €1.2bn and is claimed to one of Statnett’s largest investments. 

The new interconnector project is expected to improve diversification and security of supply and improve electricity market integration in both the countries and on a broad-scale in the Northwestern Europe and Scandinavian countries. It is also being viewed as a Project of Common Interest in the Priority Corridor Northern Seas Offshore Grid.

EIB Vice-President responsible for Energy Andrew McDowell said: “The security of supply and effective use of renewable energy remain high on the agenda for EIB financing. Germany has long regarded the sustainability of the energy it uses as very important and the interconnector will allow it to import Norwegian hydro energy when needed, while also allowing exportation of its own surplus renewable generation towards Scandinavia.

“The EU Bank has set itself the goal of channeling at least 25% of its investments towards climate action relevant projects, and this project is a perfect example of how seriously we take this."

Statnett chief financial officer Knut Hundhammer said: “The participation of EIB in funding the project is a great advantage and adds a significant part of Statnett's funding portfolio.  

“Nordlink is the third interconnector that the EIB has helped Statnett finance and we strongly appreciate EIB's continued commitment and support to help finance a more electric and climate friendly future.”

Image: EIB and Statnett officials signing the loan agreement. Photo: Courtesy of European Investment Bank.