Marine survey works have begun on a £352M electricity interconnector scheme between Wales and Ireland.
Specialist survey firm MMT has started work after client Greenlink Interconnector awarded the contract.
The Greenlink Interconnector is a new 500MW underground and submarine interconnector between Wales and Ireland.
Two electricity cables and one fibre optic cable will link the National Grid’s Pembroke substation, with the Great Island substation in County Wexford, 205km away.
MMT surveying ship MV Franklin has set off from Pembroke Dock to carry out the 40 day survey required for the 170km under-sea portion of the Greenlink project.
“We are delighted to have appointed the expertise of MMT to undertake the marine survey work for Greenlink,” said Greenlink project director Simon Ludlam.
“This will collect vital data for the project development and planning applications, helping us determine the best route between Pembrokeshire and County Wexford from an environmental, health and safety and economic point of view.”
Other vessels, including the MV Seabeam, and MV Edda Fonn will help collect the data necessary for the project.
The data collected will include piston coring and cone penetration testing (PCPT), environmental sampling and imagery, unexploded ordnance checks, and geotechnical boreholes to inform horizontal directional drilling.
The team of vessels will ensure the preferred route of the high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable system is suitable, as well as contributing to the cable burial risk assessment and ensuring that the cable system is “designed sympathetically” to the marine environment.
The £352M project is being privately financed by Greenlink Interconnector Limited, a subsidiary of Element Power, with additional support from the European Union.
Construction is expected to begin in 2020.
Like what you’ve read? To receive New Civil Engineer’s daily and weekly newsletters click here.