European Investment Bank to grant € 215 million loan for Ireland-UK interconnection

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The developer of the € 600m Greenlink power interconnector between Ireland and the UK is set to receive a € 215m loan from the European Investment Bank to help finance the project .

Interconnection is considered a key element of strategic infrastructure and a “project of common interest” by the European Commission.

It is developed by the Swiss private equity giant Partners Group.

It acquired the 51 pc stake it did not already own in Element Power earlier this year and controls the investment on behalf of clients.

The Greenlink interconnector will be 190 km in length and will run from Wexford to Pembrokeshire in Wales.

It is designed to transport up to 500 MW of electricity, enough to power the equivalent of 380,000 homes.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) stresses that the project will allow Ireland to incorporate more intermittent renewable energy into its grid, supporting both Irish and EU renewable energy policies.

The Greenlink interconnector recently received all of its planning approvals, including consent from An Bord Pleanála.

Construction of the interconnector is expected to begin later this year and be completed in 2024.

Earlier this month, Greenlink announced it had appointed James O’Reilly as chief executive.

He joins the company from the Phelan Energy group, where he was COO.

Another interconnection is to be built between Ireland and France.

The Celtic 700 MW interconnector is being developed by Eirgrid, the semi-public company that manages the Irish electricity grid, and its French counterpart, the Electricity Transmission Network.

The submission deadline for a statutory public consultation passed earlier this month, while over the summer Eirgrid submitted a planning request to An Bord Pleanála for the Irish on-shore element of the ‘interconnection as part of the strategic infrastructure development process.

The interconnector will be the only direct electricity connection from Ireland to another EU Member State. Construction is expected to start next year and be completed in 2026.

The Utilities Regulatory Commission said yesterday that across the island, Ireland would face a 260 MW power shortage between 2022 and 2023 if no action is taken. This will drop to a deficit of 1,050 WM the following year and 1,850 MW the following year.

He warned that electricity supply margins would remain tough this winter.


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