The preferred bidders for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts for the Biscay Gulf electricity interconnection project were announced by Inelfe, the joint venture between Red Eléctrica (the Spanish transmission system operator) and Réseau Transport d’Électricité (its French counterpart) in charge of the construction and commissioning of all cross-border connections between both countries.
The Biscay Gulf interconnection is a PCI (Project of Common Interest) co-funded by CEF Energy with over EUR €578 million. It aims to connect Gatika (Spain) and Cubnezais (France) and will become the first submarine electricity interconnection between Spain and France.
The EPC contracts will cover two high-voltage direct current (HVDC) links (each with a capacity of 1000 MW, amounting to approximately 1600 km of HVDC submarine and land cables), the two converter stations and the civil works associated with the land cables.
The decision on EPC contracts followed a joint statement by the Spanish and French energy regulators confirming their interest in moving the project forward with a new evaluation of the project costs, amounting to EUR 2.85 billion, and an added provision for risks of EUR 250 million.
The construction works are scheduled to start after the summer.
This project will benefit France, Spain and more widely the EU. The award of EPC contracts is a significant step forward for the future Biscay Gulf interconnection, which will help improve the security and quality of supply in both electricity systems, increase the integration of renewables, and contribute to creating a more efficient power system that will generate savings that can benefit consumers.
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