Nick Brown MP MP for Newcastle upon Tyne East
There is an issue regarding the River Tyne and the height of the overhead power transmission cable that runs across it. The existence of the line causes a significant barrier to the development of the offshore and renewable sectors in the region and prevents businesses from submitting proposals for significant projects. The cable can extend project duration and therefore costs. The Port Authority has the statutory right to request that the National Grid, at their cost, alters or removes the cables to allow unobstructed navigation of the River Tyne.
I wrote to the Port of Tyne for an update on the issue. They have told me that they have been working with the National Grid for the last 3 years to seek a long-term solution for the removal of the power cables. The National Grid are considering the options available for a permanent solution to remove or re-route the transmission cables. The favoured permanent solution currently focuses upon the relocation of the power cables under the river, using a horizontal directional drill cable. The timescale for delivery of this, if approved and funded, is late 2025. National Grid made a submission to OFGEM for the funding of this solution in December 2019, with the conclusion of this application anticipated in November 2020.
The Port of Tyne have said that they will work collaboratively with the National Grid and interested parties and will keep me informed of progress.