EirGrid secures full funding for Ireland-Wales electricity link

6 May 2010

EirGrid has completed the final phase of funding for its Ireland-Wales electricity link, having recently secured €160m of commercial debt from Barclays and BNP Paribas.

EirGrid’s funding for the East West Interconnector Project includes the €160m announced today, as well as EirGrid equity, European Investment Bank finance (€300m) and a European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR) grant for €110m.

The Ireland-Wales electricity link has a total capital cost of €601m and involves the construction of an interconnector running from Co Meath to the Deeside in Wales, which will link the Irish Transmission System to the British Transmission System and enable the two-way transmission of electricity.

Commenting on the completion of this final phase of funding, EirGrid chief executive Dermot Byrne said:  “We are delighted that the commercial funding at very competitive rates has been secured, especially at a time when economic conditions are difficult.  

“As an island country, Ireland is on track to tie into the greater European energy market in just two years,” he added.

Design and manufacture of the interconnector cable is under way, with construction due to start in June of this year.

The interconnector, which will be about 260km long, can carry 500 megawatts of electricity – the equivalent of supplying power to about 300,000 homes – and is due for completion in 2012. Its 500 megawatts capacity approximates to 10pc of the peak daily electricity demand in Ireland during winter.

Article courtesy of Businessandleadership.com