This is an update on progress with the installation of the Moyle Returns Cables in the North Channel of the Irish Sea. A Notice to Mariners has previously been issued for this work, detailing the route and construction schedule. A revised Notice to Mariners can be downloaded here, giving up-to-date details on project progress and plans. A further update on progress to date is provided below.
Two Moyle Returns cables are being installed: a northern and a southern cable.
Cable lay and burial work on the first (northern) cable was completed between 1st August and 20th September 2015.
Rock protection work is due to be carried out at points along the northern cable route where cable burial has not been possible. This work is due to be carried out by the fallpipe vessel Rockpiper between 28th October – 3rd November 2015 (weather and conditions permitting).
Rock protection work on the inshore shallow water sections of this cable (in waters between 5-10m deep) took place between 19th September and 8th October 2015. In waters shallower than 5m the cable is being buried by divers. This work has been completed at Port Muck and is presently underway at Currarie Port where it is due for completion by mid-November.
The southern cable has been surface laid along its entire route by the vessel Nexans Skagerrak between Currarie Port (near Ballantrae, Girvan, Scotland) and Portmuck South (near Larne, Islandmagee, Northern Ireland). The cable route is illustrated here.
Cable burial work is now being carried out by Nexans Skagerrak. The cable will be buried wherever possible, and will be protected with rock where burial is not possible. Cable burial work on the south cable is due to be completed by the 1st December 2015 (weather and conditions permitting).
Rock protection placement from the fall-pipe vessel Rockpiper is due to take place along parts of the route of the south cable in the North Channel between the 5th and 25th December 2015 (again, weather permitting).
Rock protection and cable burial work on the inshore shallow water sections of this cable (in waters shallower than 10m) is due to be carried out in May 2016. In the interim, the cable will be protected with cast iron shells and thick p0lyurethane cladding (uraduct).
Details of the vessels involved in these operations, along with their present locations can be found on MarineTraffic.com via the links below:-
- Nexans Skagerrak: cable laying vessel | Call Sign LCEK
- Rockpiper: fall pipe vessel | Call Sign 5BML3
During cable laying, burial and rock protection operations the vessels will be restricted in the ability to manoeuvre, and other vessels are asked to give a wide berth.
Nexans Skagerrak and Rockpiper will display the prescribed lights and signals for underwater operations and will be monitoring VHF Channels 12 and 16.
Guard vessels will be stationed as appropriate along the cable route during installation and burial to ensure the safety of marine users. These vessels are being supplied by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) and the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO).
Please contact Jim Andrews, Fishery Liaison Officer by e-mail or phone (+44(0)7908-225865) if you have any queries or concerns about this notice.