The Norwegian government has ordered a re-evaluation of a major project to transfer electricity to the United Kingdom amid growing uncertainties about Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
Norway’s oil and energy ministry said in a statement on Thursday that there was a need for the privately-owned NorthConnect to reassess the viability of its planned subsea power cable to UK’s Scotland region.
“The fact that the future relationship between the UK and the European Union remains unresolved contributes to the uncertainty in the matter being addressed,” read the statement.
The ministry asked various departments, including Norway’s water resources and energy directorate and regulator NVE to update their assessments of the project which had been planned to complete by 2023.
The development comes against the backdrop of concerns raised by Norway’s grid operator Statnett which had earlier warned that possible new arrangements and tariffs could be imposed on the Norway-UK power cable.
Norwegian political parties have also been pressuring the government to stop the project because it is not state-owned. NorthConnect is owned by a consortium of Swedish and Norwegian companies.
However, political and economic uncertainty in the UK where the parliament is at a standstill over Brexit has caused foreign companies to either end their operations in the country or think of new European locations for continuing their businesses.
The oil and energy ministry in Norway, a non-EU state, said the new reassessment on the power cable to the UK would provide a comprehensive description of what impact Brexit could have on the profitability of the 2-billion-euro project.
Britain is supposed to leave the EU in an orderly manner at the end of October if it could pass a deal which was signed with the EU last year.