Intertek and Greenlink secure Marine Licence for the Greenlink Interconnector
The Greenlink Interconnector is an electrical underground and submarine interconnector spanning approximately 190 km, linking the power markets in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
Intertek has announced that after three successful years of working closely with Greenlink Interconnector Ltd (“Greenlink”), a Marine Licence has been granted by Natural Resources Wales for the Greenlink Interconnector. The Greenlink Interconnector is a €450million electrical underground and submarine interconnector spanning approximately 190 km with a nominal capacity of 500MW, linking the power markets in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
Intertek’s subject-matter experts have worked on marine environmental quality assurance solutions with Greenlink since 2013, providing marine route development, landfall identification, survey management, environmental studies and assessment and ultimately submitting the Marine Licence (Wales) and Foreshore Licence (Ireland). Robust environmental impact assessment and environmental risk management have been core themes for Greenlink, as the proposed route crosses several European Protected Sites. In Wales, the Intertek team carried out comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment, in-depth Habitats Regulations Assessment and prepared environmental studies as well as draft mitigation plans to support the Marine Licence application.
A key aspect in de-risking the permitting process was the Intertek experts’ proactive approach to stakeholder engagement by connecting with Natural Resources Wales during route development, marine survey, environmental assessment and identification of appropriate proportionate mitigation. This open collaborative engagement with Natural Resources Wales has ensured that the nationally significant infrastructure project can be permitted with due consideration of the important offshore sensitive habitats and species.
Greenlink has been recognised as a “Project of Common Interest” by the European Union following support received from both the Irish and UK governments. It has also received funding from the European Commission through the Connecting Europe Facility. Onshore planning consents in Wales were granted in 2020 and in Ireland decisions are expected soon on the onshore planning application and the Foreshore Licence. Construction is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Anna Farley, Intertek Project Manager, commented:
“Greenlink is a valued long-term client, and we are delighted to have secured this important milestone permit for the project. As a Total Quality Assurance solutions provider, Intertek is committed to supporting Greenlink in identifying and applying environmentally sound solutions that meet the technical and commercial requirements for one of the most important infrastructure projects in Europe.”
Nigel Beresford, CEO of Greenlink Interconnector Ltd said:
“With the award of the Marine Licence, we have reached a significant milestone in the development of the project, having added this major marine permit to the onshore permits already secured. This achievement has been a collaborative effort with Intertek and we value the environmental and technical expertise that Intertek bring to the project team. The team’s proactive approach, working in partnership with key stakeholders to identify practical environmental and technical solutions to project challenges, ultimately resulted in a proposal we can all stand proudly behind. We look forward to continuing our successful relationship as we move forward into the construction phase.”