Moyle Returns Project: Rock Protection Update, 5th July 2016

This is a further update on rock protection work on the Moyle Returns Cables in the North Channel of the Irish Sea.  A brief update on survey works on other cables and pipelines in the North Channel, Belfast Lough and Lough Larne is also provided here.

The Moyle Returns Project

The Moyle Returns project is a repair to the Moyle Interconnectors that were installed in the North Channel of the Irish Sea in 2002.  Two new cables were laid across the North Channel as part of the repair during 2015.  These cables have either been buried or protected with rock to ensure its safe operation.  More information about the Moyle cables and the repair can be found here.

Progress of inshore survey & cable protection works

The inshore cable protection and survey works being carried out by the vessels Coastworker and Coastrunner and detailed in the earlier Notice to Mariners here have now been completed.

Intertidal and shallow subtidal cable protection works

Cable protection works are being completed at the Northern Irish landfall of the cable in the intertidal zone and in waters to a depth of 1.5m by an excavator.  This work will be carried out between the 6th and 9th July 2016.  It will not involve any vessels.  A Notice to Mariners describing this work can be downloaded here.

North Channel & NI waters: survey of marine assets

A survey of marine assets operated by Mutual Energy is due to be conducted over the next 3 weeks by the vessels Noordhoek Pathfinder (offshore works) and SV Volans (nearshore works).  A Notice to Mariners describing this survey work can be downloaded here and is summarised below.

The survey works will involve the deployment of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) from the vessels.  The ROVs will be tethered to the vessels.  The vessels will be carrying out inspections of the two Moyle Interconnector cables and the Scotland to NI pipeline in the North Channel.  The Belfast Lough and Larne Lough crossings will also be inspected during the survey work.

The inspection programme is due to be conducted in several stages, and the vessels will be deployed at locations and times determined by the project requirements, weather, sea conditions and proximity of other vessels working in the area.

Vessel details

Operations aboard Noordhoek Pathfinder will be conducted on a 24-hour basis.  Operations aboard SV Volans will be carried out during daylight hours.  Throughout operations the vessels will be displaying the shapes and lights prescribed in the COLREGS to indicate that the vessel is restricted in its ability to manoeuvre.  A listening watch will be maintained on VHF Channel 16 and also on port working channels (e.g. 11, 12 or 14) when within the appropriate port authority area.

Both vessel will actively transmit an AIS signal.  Details of the vessels involved in these operations, along with their present location can be found on via the links below:-

It is requested that all vessels operating within this area keep at a safe working distance of 500 metres and pass at minimum speed to reduce vessel wash.

Notices to Mariners

The notices to mariners presently relevant to the Moyle Returns project are:-

  • Larne & Belfast Loughs, SNIP, Moyle Notice to Mariners 001 – this notice was issued on 4th July 2016 and describes a programme for inspecting marine cables and pipelines in the North Channel, Belfast Lough and Lough Larne.  The Notice can be downloaded here .
  • Moyle Return Conductor Cables: Cable Laying, Burial & Protection Update – this notice was issued in October 2015 and can be downloaded here, giving details on project progress and plans.  The works detailed in this notice have been completed.

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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