The purpose-built NKT Victoria cable-laying vessel has successfully laid the first HVDC cables in the Moray Firth as part of Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ £1.1bn Caithness-Moray transmission project.
The state-of-the-art vessel completed its first campaign from Noss Head in Caithness to the midpoint of the cable route this week. It has now returned to Sweden to reload the remaining cable to be laid from Portgordon in Moray to the end of the previously laid cable later this month.
SSEN Lead Project Manager Brian Mitchell said: “This is a major milestone for the Caithness-Moray project and I am delighted that the first cable laying campaign was completed on schedule. The vessel has now returned to Karlskrona in Sweden to load the remaining 56km of HVDC cable. A subsea joint will then be constructed to connect both sections of cable to complete the circuit.”
The Caithness-Moray project is required to transport renewable electricity from across the north of Scotland to areas of demand across Scotland and beyond.
The Caithness-Moray project is on schedule for completion in 2018, enabling a further 1,200MW of renewable generation capacity to connect to the grid. A recent study in to the economic contribution of the project showed that it will deliver a £634.5m boost to the UK economy, supporting over 10,000 years of employment.
The £1.1bn project represents the largest investment in the north of Scotland’s electricity network since the hydro development era of the 1950s and is also the largest capital investment project undertaken by the SSE Group to date. It is also the largest Living Wage contract ever awarded in the UK, demonstrating SSEN’s strong commitment to ensure all employees working on its sites get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.