Nexans gets Kintyre cabling work

French cablemaker Nexans has landed the €120m ($160m) contract to lay an underwater power line between the northern Scottish peninsula of Kintyre and the country’s mainland, a link being installed to beef up the area’s grid to handle future offshore renewable energy projects.

The upgrade, part of Scottish Hydro Electric (SHE) Transmission’s wider plans to spend some €6bn on its electricity network between 2013 and 2021, will free up to 150MW of additional grid capacity. 

Nexans is calling up its specialist Skagerrak cable ship for the job of laying the two 41km-long 230 kV and 240 MVA armoured lines, which will be lowered to water depths of over 100 metres and buried using a specialised Capjet system with rock dumping for protection.

The project also includes the supply and installation of six 5km single core underground lines for the land element of the installation, and an integrated fibre optic cable for control of the cable link.

“This high profile project that will provide vital reinforcement for Scotland’s power infrastructure,” says Kjetil Hovland, vice president of Nexans’ Submarine High Voltage business. “A key factor in winning this major contract was our proven capability to deliver complete subsea power cable solutions in-house from design and manufacture through to the installation.”

After a lengthy consultation process, SHE Transmission received consent to build a new 220/132kV substation in Crossaig forest; replace an existing 132kV overhead line between Carradale and Crossaig with a higher capacity double circuit overhead line, and install the two subsea cable circuits from this new substation round the north coast of Arran to Hunterston.

The new infrastructure is slated for completion in 2015.