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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 07:14 GMT 08:14 UK
Plan for cross-sea electric cable
Location map of the cable route
The planned cable will run under the Irish Sea
An Irish energy company is due to present plans to build an electricity cable between north Wales and Ireland.

Imera Power says the cable, running between Caernarfon in Gwynedd and Arklow in County Wicklow, could provide electricity for both countries.

It says that in the short term it would be likely to be used to address Ireland's energy shortage.

The idea for a cable dates back to the 1970s. Imera is applying to the UK energy regulator Ofgem for a licence.

The company hopes the 150km (93mile) electricity link could be commissioned by 2008 and up and running by 2009.

The cost is estimated at 200m euros (135m) which Imera say would be met through private funding, infrastructure funds and EU finance.

'Either direction'

The company says the cable, called an interconnector, could enhance security of supply on both sides of the Irish Sea but said it will initially address a current energy shortfall in Ireland.

A control building would be built either side of the Irish Sea
A control building would be built either side of the Irish Sea

Rory O'Neill, chief executive of Imera Power, said the Irish Sea cable could carry electricity both ways between Ireland and Wales.

He said: "The cable is being designed so it can both import and export and depending on market conditions in either the UK market or Irish market it can flow in either direction.

"In the short term it is likely to be importing into the Irish market."

Mr O'Neill said the cable could benefit parts of the north Wales economy, particularly Anglesey Aluminium, which faces potential difficulty sourcing cheap energy when the nearby Wylfa nuclear power station closes in 2010.

He said: "This would be another opportunity for Anglesey Aluminium to take electricity either from Ireland, or with increased security of supply in the north Wales region, it will offer that particular company some additional choice when it comes to making decisions in the future with regard to their energy purchases."

He added that the project would have minimal environmental impact on north Wales.

"The cable is being designed so it can import and export"

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