Isle of Man Interconnector Cable: Fishery Liaison Services

We are pleased to formally announce that we are now providing fishery liaison services for the Isle of Man Interconnector Cable, running beneath the seabed between Douglas on the Isle of Man and Bispham on the Lancashire coast.

The IOM Interconnector

The Interconnector Cable spans a distance of 104km (56 nautical miles).  It is the world’s longest AC power interconnector, linking the Isle of Man to the UK National Grid.  You can see a map of the cable route here.

The Interconnector Cable comprises both a 90kV AC power cable bundled with a fibre optic communications cable.  It was installed in September 2000, and carries around 60MW of electricity to the Isle of Man, roughly 90% of the Island’s daytime electricity requirements.

The cable was buried using a cable plough when it was installed.  For 93% of the cable route it is buried at a depth of 1.8-2.0m.  Cable burial is important both to protect the cable and ensure that it is not a hazard for fishing vessels.

The Manx Cable Company is responsible for the operation and upkeep of the entire cable.  They carry out routine surveys along the cable route, and occasionally some remedial work to ensure that the cable is adequately buried and / or protected.

Cable Protection

At several points along the cable route the cable is surface laid where there are joints between sections of the cable and where it crosses other cables and pipelines.

To protect the surface laid cable and to ensure that fishing can continue safely along the route, protective mattresses have been installed at six locations. Details of these locations are given in the maps here.

Surveys in 2011 found that there was some movement of the rock mattresses closest to the Lancashire coast.  You can download a notice warning about potential hazards in this area here.

Exposed Cable

The seabed close to the Lancashire coast is very mobile.  Parts of the cable lying within 2 nautical miles of the coast may occasionally be exposed by movements of the sand on the seabed.  The recent location of the exposed cable is shown in a map here.

The Manx Cable Company monitor the cable carefully along this part of the route, and have published a notice to mariners based on recent survey information here.

Fishery Liaison

AWJ Marine will ensure that you and all of the fishermen and fishermen’s organisations along the route are kept informed about all survey and maintenance work on the IOM Interconnector Cable, and are also alerted to any potential hazards associated with it.

We have circulated this information widely.  Please feel free to forward this update to any of your colleagues who may be interested.  Anyone who is interested in this project can sign up for 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 Isle of Man Interconnector Cable, please contact us.

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