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Investors eye September financial close for UK-Germany power cable

·1-min read

(Reuters) - The private investors behind the first power cable linking the United Kingdom and Germany, NeuConnect, said on Friday they are targeting a financial close of the 1.4 billion pound ($1.92 billion) project by September.

Major construction work on the merchant cable could start in 2022, said the group of investors led by Meridiam, asset manager Allianz Capital Partners, part of German insurer Allianz, and Japan's Kansai Electric Power.

The latest announcement coincided with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London.

"NeuConnect is the largest UK-German investment project currently underway and will allow our energy grids to share excess power – making sure renewable energy is not wasted and helping both our economies decarbonise more rapidly," Johnson said in a statement ahead of the meeting.

By integrating renewable energy sources in Germany and the United Kingdom, the cable could deliver a net reduction in carbon emissions of 16 million tonnes over 25 years, the investors said.

NeuConnect will link Britain's Isle of Grain in Kent with Wilhemshaven in northern Germany, via a 700-km-long subsea cable and allowing for 1.4 gigawatt (GW) of electricity to flow in either direction.

In June, UK energy regulator Ofgem confirmed key licence details for the merchant project, while Germany approved necessary energy legislation, paving the way for the construction and operation of independent cross-border interconnectors like NeuConnect.

Another two interconnectors to Britain are currently under construction or in test operations - the North Sea Link cable to Norway and the Viking Link connection to Denmark - and both are owned by the respective national transmission system operators (TSOs).

($1 = 0.7275 pounds)

(Reporting by Nora Buli; Editing by Paul Simao)

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