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Vattenfall eyes interconnector investment if offshore wind plans bear fruit: CEO

Published 10/24/2019, 05:45 AM
Updated 10/24/2019, 05:51 AM
Vattenfall eyes interconnector investment if offshore wind plans bear fruit: CEO

By Lefteris Karagiannopoulos

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Vattenfall (VATN.UL) has applied for a new license to build a 350-400 megawatt offshore wind farm in southern Sweden, a plan that could pave the way for investment in a cross-border cable to share power, its chief executive told Reuters.

The farm, which had been granted a now-expired license, is the Swedish part of a larger park called Kriegers Flak to be shared with Denmark and Germany.

Vattenfall is currently building the Danish side, a 600 megawatt project, that has already been licensed.

The company will decide whether to proceed with the Swedish farm after a decision on the license. If approved, the wind farm would be Vattenfall's first in its home country, a market where it has faced opposition on a second project that the military rejected earlier this week.

"We are looking at the possibility to actually connect both (farms) to the German side and to the Danish side. If that is a possibility we think that it will be a good idea via a new interconnector," Vattenfall CEO Magnus Hall said, referring to the cross-border power cable.

Building cables is not Vattenfall's main activity and the firm may initially invest in building the link and later sell it, Hall added.

The cable would not be online by 2025, as Vattenfall sees offshore wind projects developing in Sweden only after that year, when demand for more electrification will rise.

Hall urged clarity around regulations after Vattenfall and Wallenstam (ST:WALLb) had to call off efforts to develop a joint offshore 300 MW wind project in Sweden, after the armed forces rejected a revised plan to build fewer but higher turbines.

"We need to make sure that we have this discussion about the connection to the military and plan out the rules. How is it going to look and where can we really build. To have much more of a clear view going forward," he said.

"Now we need to take this discussion on a high level basis with the Swedish military."

Vattenfall is also doing some preparatory work for potential projects in other locations in Sweden, Hall said.

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