Groupe Eurotunnel SE, which operates the two rail tunnels between France and England, took full ownership of a project to install a 1-gigawatt power interconnector beneath the English Channel.

The Paris-based company bought the 49 percent of ElecLink Ltd. that it didn’t already own from a unit of private equity firm Star Capital Partners Ltd. for 75 million euros ($84.7 million), according to a statement Tuesday.

Construction of the project, expected to require more than 500 million euros investment, must start before August 2017 in order for the cable to begin operating by July 31, 2020, according to the statement.

Eurotunnel said it “will shortly hold an auction” for a portion of the new cable’s capacity, which will allow financing to go ahead, according to the statement.

The deal provided a 114 percent internal rate of return for Star Capital and a sixfold gain on the original investment, according to Tony Mallin, chairman of the private equity firm.

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