National Grid North America has sealed US$752mn in senior unsecured term loans, backed by Swedish and Italian export credit agencies EKN and Sace, for work related to the North Sea Link project – the world’s longest underwater interconnector cable.

The facilities consist of US$233mn EKN-guaranteed export credit and US$519mn Sace-backed export credit. The latter is accompanied by interest rate stabilisation from export support company Simest.

The Sace-backed loan has been structured by BNP Paribas, as the sole structuring agent, with HSBC and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group as mandated lead arrangers and lenders. The EKN-backed loan is being provided by SEK.

The North Sea Link project, which has a total value of €2bn, involves the construction of a subsea interconnector between Norway and the UK. Project partners, Norwegian utility Statnett and National Grid North Sea Link, plan to use the connection to increase production and use of renewable energy on both sides. The cable, which is scheduled for completion in 2021, will have a capacity of 1,400MW and will extend over 730km, making it the longest infrastructure of its kind in the world.

The facilities are provided to support National Grid’s share of engineering, procurement and construction contracts with cable company Prysmian and engineering and technology company ABB. The contracts provide for the supply of HVDC converter stations and the laying of power cables for the project.

Prysmian will supply and install 950km of cable for the project, which will be produced at its Arco Felice factory in Naples, Italy.

National Grid North America and National Grid North Sea Link are wholly-owned subsidiaries of National Grid plc.