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Cables laid for £1.1bn Scottish energy scheme

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Work on a £1.1bn power transmission project in Scotland has taken a step forward after a purpose built, cable-laying vessel departed from Aberdeen harbour.

The NKT Victoria will lay 113km of high voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea cable across the Moray Firth connecting Caithness to Moray, finishing work in September. It is part of a Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) scheme to distribute renewable energy to high demand areas of Scotland.

Obstacles such as rocks and boulders had been cleared and a trench dug for the cable, which will be laid in two sections between Noss Head in Caithness and Portgordon in Moray. Once laid, the cable trench will be backfilled with seabed material displaced during its construction.

“The installation of the subsea cable is one of the major components of the Caithness-Moray project and the arrival of the NKT Victoria marks a very exciting milestone for SSEN and our contractors as we look forward to the subsea cable installation over the summer,” said SSEN lead project manager Brian Mitchell.

The vessel will use cameras and sonar for a high level of precision when laying the 1,200MW cable on its maiden voyage. Along with reinforcing an existing onshore network, the project represents the largest investment in north Scotland’s electricity network since the 1950s.

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