French cable maker Nexans has won a EUR180m turnkey contract from Fingrid and Elering, the electricity transmission system operators in Finland and Estonia, respectively, to build a high-voltage direct current power link, EstLink 2, between the two countries.

The new submarine cable connection will deliver an additional bi-directional transmission capacity of 650MW.

The Commission of the European Union has granted an investment subsidy of EUR100m for the EstLink 2 project, which is expected to begin commercial operation in early 2014.

Nexans will design, manufacture and install the new 145km subsea cable between the countries, as well as a 12km section of underground cable in Estonia.

The turnkey contract includes civil works as well as the protection of the subsea cables by burying them into the seabed.

Together with the 350MW Estlink 1 connection, the total electricity transmission capacity between Finland and Estonia will rise to 1,000MW.

Siemens Energy will build the converter stations in Estonia and Finland for the EstLink 2 power link.