As the North East continues to establish itself as a key location for businesses operating within the sustainable energy sector, the joint enterprises responsible for the delivery of the ground-breaking North Sea Link Interconnector project have secured a site at Arch’s new East Sleekburn Enterprise Zone.
The North Sea Link Interconnector (NSL) is a joint project between National Grid and Statnett to connect the UK to Norway. Scheduled for operation in 2021, it will see over 720km of cable buried beneath the sea bed, making the North Sea Link Interconnector (NSL) the world’s longest subsea interconnector.
Designed to enable countries to trade electricity, interconnectors are already in use all over the world to help ensure that a consistent supply of safe, affordable and sustainable energy is always available.
The North Sea Link Interconnector (NSL) will facilitate the transfer of hydro-power generated in Norway to the UK and also excess UK wind to be exported to Norway.
Already home to existing operations run by Northern Powergrid and EDF Energy, National Grid and Statnett selected a site at East Sleekburn to build the Converter Station needed for the North Sea Link Interconnector (NSL), due to its prime location close to the west as well as offering a strong connection point to the power grid.
The Arch-owned site, part of the larger North East Enterprise Zone, also offers fast-tracked planning and investment incentives to accelerate activities which complement and enhance the Port of Blyth’s existing facilities.
Leading on the construction of the East Sleekburn site, Arch is working to create a premier location for businesses operating in the offshore wind, subsea, and oil and gas industries.
Spread over 36 hectares of land, the site is on land formerly occupied by Blyth Power Station and the Ash Barge Dock, which has been derelict since the power station was demolished in 2003. During the course of its development, it is expected that at least 450 jobs will be created on the site.
Councillor Dave Ledger, Chairman of Arch, said: “Arch is dedicated to investing as much as possible into the regeneration of aged industrial sites like the Blyth Power Station at East Sleekburn to help encourage economic growth and create employment opportunities throughout the area.
“The North East coast and Blyth in particular is already recognised as a hub for national and regional electrical distribution in the UK so it makes sense to try and encourage more business of this type into the region by providing a dedicated site for energy providers to operate from.
“The investment from National Grid and Statnett for the North Sea Link Interconnector project is a major addition to the site in East Sleekburn and we are delighted to have them on board.”