GLOBAL cable construction company Prysmian has signed a £350m deal with the National Grid to design, manufacture and install the cables for a major interconnector project that will connect Tourbe in France to Chilling in Hampshire.

The IFA2 interconnector will provide high voltage direct current (HVDC) of up to 100 megawatts to flow between Britain and France.

Under the plans, the under-sea cables will be 200km and will land on the south coast of the UK at Solent Airport near Fareham where the converter station is to be located.

In addition to the HVDC cable link, the contract also includes a high voltage alternating current (HVAC) link that will connect the converter station to a substation in Chilling which includes two kilometre land sections at each end with a one km sub-sea section between them.

Massimo Battani, SVP Energy projects director, part of Prysmian said: “This is a prestigious project for Prysmian, and we are delighted to have been selected by two of our most important customers, National Grid and RTE, highlighting our world market and technological leadership in submarine cable and transmission systems.”

The National Grid has also signed a legal agreement to lease land at Daedalus which puts in place a number of obligations designed to protect the community and Fareham Borough Council during and after construction.

The agreement will give the council control over when construction takes place to minimize the disturbance to the airport and its neighbours.

Cllr Sean Woodward, leader of the council said: “We have ambitious plans for the future of the Solent Airport and its two new business parks. These agreements will help ensure that the project coexists happily alongside the airport, business based at Daedalus and the local community now and in the future.”

Now, the council will undertake studies to determine whether the proposed cabling will affect the operations of the airport and which will determine the suitability for future aspirations such as navigational aids and runway lighting and when construction begins.