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Norway Set To Plug Into Britain

May 12, 2003

Norway has proposed laying the world's longest undersea power cable to enable it to plug into Britain.  Statkraft, the state electricity company, said the cable, with a projected cost of 750 million, would stretch 465 miles across the North Sea from southern Norway to Britain.

The Norwegian concern is working with the privately held British power company National Grid Transco on the project, dubbed the North Sea Interconnector.

Norway, one of the world's largest oil exporters, produces virtually all of its own electricity from clean hydroelectric plants.  However, unusually dry weather can deplete reservoirs, resulting in shortages and soaring prices.

Statkraft chairwoman Grete Faremo said the main goal of the project is to ensure stable power supplies to the northern country of 4.5 million, and to allow exports of surplus electricity to Britain in the years the county gets heavy rain and snow.  Statkraft said it is working on application to Norway's Ministry of Oil and Energy for a permit to build the power line.

It was not clear when a final decision would be made.

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