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ABB wins contract as Irish give £560m interconnector green light

Swedish engineering firm ABB will build a new £560 million electricity interconnector between Ireland and Britain, it has been revealed.

The Irish Government this week gave the plans for the cable – which will run under the Irish Sea from Woodland, in County Meath to Deeside in Wales – the green light, with the grid’s operator Eirgrid soon after confirming ABB would design, manufacture and install the power link.

The scheme is expected to be completed within three years.

The project had also attracted bids from German giant Siemens, French groups Nexan and Areva, and Italian operator Prysmian.

EirGrid chief executive Dermot Byrne said up to 100 jobs would be created in Ireland during the construction of the interconnector.

The 500MW, 260 km interconnector will allow for a two-way flow of electricity between Ireland and Wales. About 180 km of the cable will be laid under the Irish Sea.

A similar interconnector already links Northern Ireland and Scotland.

About £110 million of the funds for the project will come from the European Union, with the remainder of the finance mostly being borrowed by EirGrid.