SSE pulls out of UK-Norway subsea interconnector scheme


SSE has announced that it will no longer have a financial involvement in the NorthConnect project, the interconnector development company seeking to build a subsea electric transmission cable between Great Britain and Norway.

NorthConnect partners (Vattenfall UK, E-CO Energi, Agder Energi (AE), and Lyse) remain fully committed to developing the interconnector. The decision by SSE does not affect the deliverability of the project.

SSE’s decision is in line with its financial report for the six months to September 30, 2012 where it announced its intention to focus on its core markets (Great Britain and Ireland) in order to develop the broad portfolio of investment options held in both jurisdictions. In its financial report it mentioned the intended disposal of its interests in Scandinavia including a generation pipeline of almost 900MW of which 89MW has consent for development. An announcement on the sale of the Swedish portfolio will be made in the coming weeks.

Following an internal review of the project it was deemed that a combination of the need to focus on core markets, the number of alternative investment opportunities available (particularly in network and generation assets) and the lack of short-term clarity on the regulatory regime around interconnectors meant that continuing the project was not in SSE's strategic interest. SSE continues to be supportive of the project itself, as well as increased (commercially developed) interconnection, and will retain contact with the other owners should priorities change.

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