Moyle Returns Project: Update – nearshore rock placement, September 2015

This notice provides an update on progress with activities for the rock protection of the nearshore sections of the Moyle Interconnector cables.   This work started recently, and progress is summarised briefly below.

Rock Placement

Survey work by the vessel Smit Neyland started near the Scottish landfall on 9th September 2015 and has continued near to the Northern Irish landfall over the weekend.

Nearshore shallow-water rock placement works are being carried out by a split barge, with a rock coaster and works boat supporting the rock placement activities.  The barge will be towed between the coaster and rock placement locations by the two tugs, Coastrunner and Coastworker (details below).  The nearshore rock placement will take place in waters between 5-10 metres deep.  The rock protection will provide 0.6m of cover to the cable, and will extend approximately 220m from the shore near the Scottish landfall (200m from the shore near the N. Ireland landfall).  The rock used in the protection works will have a size of 1-8 inches.

The rock coaster DC Eeems is due to anchor close to the rock placement site (approximately 500m to the north of the cable at the Scottish side and approximately 500m to the south of the cable on the Northern Irish side).  The shallow water nearshore work is due to be completed by the 10th October 2015.

On the 16th September 2015 (weather permitting) the fall-pipe vessel Seahorse is due to arrive on site to install rock protection in waters from a depth of 10m to approximately 20m, directly offshore of the cable landfalls and continuing the shallow-water protection.  The cable has been laid alongside the existing rock berm in these waters, and this additional rock protection will also be laid alongside the existing berms. This work is scheduled for completion within one day of starting.

The Seahorse will start work at either the Scottish or Northern Irish end of the cable, depending on the prevailing weather conditions.

The survey vessel Smit Neyland will make a further survey of the rock placement area when works are completed.

Vessel details

Details of the vessel involved in these operations, along with their present locations can be found on via the link below:-

  • B41: split hopper barge
  • Coastrunner: tug | Call sign 2EDW3
  • Coastworker: tug
  • DC Eeems (formerly Eeems Servant): rock coaster | Call sign PBTI
  • Seahorse: Rock Placement Vessel | Call sign PCAP
  • Smit Neyland: Survey vessel | Call sign VQGN5

Whilst the vessels working on this project are conducting the rock placement and supporting operations, they will be Restricted in the Ability to Manoeuvre. All other vessels operating within the area are asked to keep clear of the vessels, 500 metres ahead, 1000 metres abeam and astern of the vessel to maintain a safe distance.

During operations the vessels will display the appropriate day shapes/signals and at times of reduced visibility the appropriate lights as required by the IRPCS.  The vessels will also actively transmit an AIS signal.  A continuous listening watch will be maintained on VHF Channel 16 and 12 DSC.

Guard vessels

Guard vessels will be stationed as appropriate along the cable routed 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).

Future work

Work on the protection of the first (north) cable is due to be completed by the 10th October 2015.

 The laying of the south cable is currently scheduled to start on the 18th October 2015 and all protection work on this cable is due to be completed by 13th January 2016 (weather and conditions permitting).  An update on this second phase of the project will be provided in future bulletins.

Notice to Mariners

A Notice to Mariners was issued for these works on the 5th September 2015.  A summary of the notice and a link allowing the notice to be downloaded can be accessed here.

 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.

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