Western Link Undersea Cable

The Western Link is a major electricity transmission project being jointly developed by National Grid and Scottish Power.  The Western Link will connect the high voltage transmission systems in Scotland with England and Wales, providing much needed extra capacity in the UK electricity transmission system.

Western Link Route (click to enlarge)

The Western Link will comprise over 400km of cable that will link Hunterston in Scotland with Hoylake in England.  The cable will run the length of the Firth of Clyde, cross the North Channel between Scotland and Ireland, before running to the south of the Isle of Man and into Liverpool Bay.  It will be the longest cable of its type in the world.

The Western Link will provide an extra 2000MW of capacity in the transmission system.  Electricity will be able to flow both north and south, according to changes in supply and demand.

AWJ have been working with National Grid and Scottish Power on the Western Link project since 2010.  We have organised consultation meetings with the many fishing groups along the route, and have provided expert input to the environmental assessment of the project.  As the Western Link moves into its construction phase we continue to provide Fishery Liaison Services and expert advice on fishing issues.

All of the applications for consent for the Western Link project were submitted in 2011.  The consenting process was completed in early 2012.  Installation of the Western Link cable started in the shallow waters at the southern end of the route in September 2014.  The main cable installation campaigns are due to start in May 2015.  The outline schedule is:-

  • Inshore section (up to 37km from Wirral): September – November 2014
  • Southern Sections (37-153km from Wirral): May – September 2015
  • Northern Sections (from Ardneil to 120km): February – July 2016
  • Middle Sections (linking the Northern & Southern sections): December 2016 – April 2017.

More information about the project can be found on the Western Link website here.  You can contact the Western Link team directly by telephone (Freephone 0800 021 7878) or by e-mail here.

You can read our latest updates for mariners and fishermen below.  You can also sign up for project updates to be delivered straight to your Inbox on our News Subscriptions page.  It’s quick, easy, free and secure.

If you have any queries about the Western Link, please contact us.

Updates (chronological list, newest first)

Western HVDC Link: Post-lay Mattressing Operation, Irish Sea

Mariners are advised that post-lay mattressing operations on the Western HVDC Link cable route are due to start at a location between Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea on the 26th July 2017.  A Notice … Continue reading

Western HVDC Link: Deep water cable installation update, July 2017

Mariners are advised of an update to the cable installation work in the Irish Sea along the Western HVDC Link cable route further to the Notice to Mariners circulated on 4th July.  The only change to the proposed works is that … Continue reading

Western HVDC Link: Deep water cable installation in Irish Sea & Location of Exposed cable, July 2017.

Mariners are advised that the cable laying vessel Giulio Verne is due to continue with cable installation work in the Irish Sea along the Western HVDC Link cable route.  This work is due to start in mid July 2017.  The latest Notice … Continue reading

Western HVDC Link: Shallow water survey work, Ardneil Bay & Leasowe

Mariners are advised that shallow water survey work is due to be carried out close to the Western HVDC Link landfalls in Ardneil Bay and at Leasowe on the Wirral during July 2017.  A notice to mariners about these operations can … Continue reading

Western HVDC Link: Post lay mattressing operation in the Irish Sea – May 2017

Mariners are advised that post lay mattressing works are planned for the Western Link HVDC cable following the burial works.  The location of the mattressing locations are given in a Notice to Mariners that can be downloaded Continue reading

Western HVDC Link: Update on Exposed cable locations in Irish Sea, North Channel, Firth of Clyde – May 2017

[Update – the information in this notice has been superseded by more recent notices.  The notice remains as part of the historical record of notices issued for this project.  Please refer to the most recent notice for an up-to-date record … Continue reading

Western HVDC Link: Cable Installation Campaigns 4b (Firth of Clyde) and 5a (Irish Sea)

[Update – the information in this notice has been superseded by more recent notices.  The notice remains as part of the historical record of notices issued for this project.  Please refer to the most recent notice for an up-to-date record … Continue reading

Western HVDC Link: Completion of Post Lay Installation Rock Placement Works, Ardneil Bay

[Update – the information in this notice has been superseded by more recent notices.  The notice remains as part of the historical record of notices issued for this project.  Please refer to the most recent notice for an up-to-date record … Continue reading

Western HVDC Link: Cable Installation Campaigns 4b (Firth of Clyde) and 5a (Irish Sea)

[Update – the information in this notice has been superseded by more recent notices.  The notice remains as part of the historical record of notices issued for this project.  Please refer to the most recent notice for an up-to-date record … Continue reading

Western HVDC Link: Post Lay Installation Rock Placement Works, Ardneil Bay

[Update – the information in this notice has been superseded by more recent notices.  The notice remains as part of the historical record of notices issued for this project.  Please refer to the most recent notice for an up-to-date record … Continue reading