The Norwegian and German transmission system operators, Statnett and E.ON Netz agreed to launch a joint study to assess the technical and financial potential for building NORD.LINK, a sub sea DC-cable between Norway and Germany. The capacity of such a new interconnector is expected to be in the range of 700 to 1400 MW. The feasibility study will start immediately.

The two companies will investigate potential benefits and risks resulting from an interconnector between the two electrical systems of continental Europe and the Nordic countries. Different patterns of generation with large thermal and growing wind power on the Continent versus large hydro capacities in Northern Europe are expected to offer mutual benefits, however on the other hand there may be some risk of worsening existing bottlenecks in the grid.

NORD.LINK is expected to be financially rewarding for both generators and consumers based on similar fundamentals as in the past and expected developments in consumption, production and prices in both markets. The feasibility study will analyse the relevant matters in relation to NORD.LINK prior to a possible investment decision.

A cable between Norway and Germany is listed in the EU`s program for trans-European electricity networks (TEN-E program) which aims for improved market integration in Europe and insofar supported by the EU.

Statnett and E.ON Netz intend to finalize their feasibility study by autumn 2008. Then on the basis of the results talks with the national regulators for ensuring an appropriate return on investment will be started.