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U.K.’s Fire-Damaged Power Cable Won’t Fully Start Until 2023

·1 min read

(Bloomberg) -- A key power cable linking Britain and France that was severely damaged by a fire last month won’t be fully operational again until October 2023.

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Half of the 2,000 megawatt cable, known as IFA-1, has been left intact and will restart on Oct. 20, the U.K.’s National Grid Plc said in a statement. The other half will return incrementally from October 2022, seven months later than originally predicted.

The U.K. is in the middle of an energy crisis with surging power and natural gas prices that have caused thirteen utilities to collapse since the start of August. National Grid has warned that the buffer of extra generation capacity needed to avoid blackouts this winter is very low.

“We are completely focused on getting IFA safely returned to service as soon as possible and ensuring we are able to support security of supply,” National Grid said in the statement.

The fire at a converter station meant that 1,000 megawatts was set to be unavailable this winter. The cable operator will make a total of 1,500 megawatts available for next winter before reducing capacity to 1,000 megawatts during the summer ahead of a full return in October 2023.

The grid operator said that there will be “sufficient levels” of generation and interconnector imports throughout winter. Higher power prices in the U.K. should mean imports of electricity from continental Europe at peak times, it said in its winter outlook report.

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