The FAB electricity cable will not cross Alderney

The original proposed route of the FAB link project. Credit: ITV Channel TV

The companies behind the France-Alderney-Britain (FAB) electricity cables have scrapped plans for them to cross Alderney.

Partners FAB Link Limited and RTE have made the decision which they say will save time and money.

For years there has been debate, disagreement and protests amongst Alderney residents over the proposed cable link which would have seen the two cables cross the island. 

Alderney was set to receive £70,000 a year if the cables crossed the island, but many argued this was not enough money for the scheme.

The plan to install the cables on Alderney also threatened to plough through a cemetery containing the graves of Nazi slave labourerst, many of whom were Jewish.

Marcus Roberts, Director of the National Anglo-Jewish Heritage Trail, says: "We are delighted that good sense has now finally prevailed and that FAB Link will now no long jeopardise Holocaust graves and other graves of the victims of the Nazis across Longis Common.

"This result would not have been attained without the active help and campaigning by many local people on Alderney and the support of the local and international media, as well as well-wishers across the World." The selected route will now cross the English Channel without the need to make landfall on the island of Alderney. However, a press release from the company has not yet made clear which route it will take.

James Dickson, the FAB Link Project Director, says: “Since 2017 we have been working on the basis that we had the option to pursue either of two potential routes.

“One, which crosses Alderney, was designed to provide a route to market in the UK and France for tidal electricity generated in the island’s waters.

“The second route bypasses the island without making landfall there. Given ongoing uncertainties around the need for Alderney to export electricity, the promoters have decided to proceed with this second route.

“This gives us more certainty, as we need to work with fewer permissions, approvals and licences. It is also a more cost-effective route, and it will take less time to lay the cables.

“Following our joint agreement in February to review the project and provide updated information to regulators, this marks another step forward towards our aim of securing a final investment decision and starting construction in 2025.”

What is FAB?

The FAB project is to build an underwater electrical cable between France and Britain.

The cable will run for 220km from the electrical substations in the Cotentin peninsula in France to Exeter in Devon, England.

The project consists of two pairs of electrical cables, a converter station in both France and Britain, and connections into the high voltage grids at each end.

It's aim is to meet the need for increasing energy trade between France and Britain and contribute to the energy transition in Europe.