New legislation to allow transmission wires operator EirGrid to build, own and operate an Ireland-Wales interconnector is about to be laid before the Irish parliament. The interconnector will integrate Ireland's electricity system into the wider European market and allow Irish wind power to be exported, says energy minister Eamon Ryan. The bill is priority legislation and will allow the project to be completed by 2012 at the latest, he adds. In December, EirGrid launched a bidding process for the design and construction of the 500 MW link. The bill also allows EirGrid to increase significantly its borrowings to fund the project. Work is also underway on a marine survey to decide the route of the link.