Moyle Interconnector: Cable Repair, August-September 2017

Mariners are advised that the vessel Nexans Skagerrak is being mobilised to carry out repair work on the southern Moyle Interconnector power cable in the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland.  This work is due to commence on the 25th August 2017.  A Notice to Mariners describing the work can be downloaded here and is summarised below.

Cable Repair Work

The cable repair work is being carried out in two campaigns.

The first campaign was carried out in May 2017 and involved precise location of the cable fault by the vessel Elektron.  This vessel de-trenched and raised the cable to the surface to remove the faulty section.  The remaining cable was sealed and laid back on the seabed in the existing cable trench.

The next phase of the repair work is due to commence on 25th August 2017 and is expected to take approximately six weeks to complete.

During this phase of repair work the vessel Nexans Skagerrak is due to lift the sealed ends of the cable and splice a new length of cable between them.  The cable will be relaid and re-trenched on the seabed along its existing route.  A new “repair loop” of cable will be created in this work, and will also be re-trenched.

This work will be centred around the coordinates given below:-

  • Repair location: 005° 30.9855’W 54° 54.9536’N.

Mariners are advised that the extent of deburial of the cable will be extended from 350m either side of this location by a distance of 200m west and 100m east, in order to allow the safe handling and lifting of the cable.

This location is illustrated on a chart in the Notice to Mariners that can be downloaded here.

Vessel details

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

At stages during the repair, the IRC cable will be lifted from the seabed with one cut end on the vessel deck. The catenary (length of suspended cable) may extend up to 200m either side of the vessel.

During these periods of handling and jointing the vessel will have “Restricted Manoeuvrability” and the cable will be in suspension in the water column poses an entanglement risk to other vessels.  A safety exclusion zone of 1 nautical mile is advised whilst the vessel is on station.

If the vessel is leaving station, a guard vessel will be employed to advise mariners of the potential presence of unprotected power cable on the seabed and avoid damage of same.

The vessel will monitor VHF Channel 16 at all times and can be contacted on this channel.  Guard vessels will do likewise.

The Moyle Interconnector

The Moyle Interconnector consists of four undersea cables running between Scotland and Northern Ireland. The first two cables were installed in 2002.  Two new cables were laid across the North Channel as part of a repair during 2015.  The cables have either been buried or protected with rock to ensure their safe operation.  More information about the Moyle cables and their repair can be found here.

Notices to Mariners

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

  • Cable Repair, Augsut- September 2017.  This is the notice described above.  It was issued on the 21st August and describes the second phase of activities that are due to be carried out to repair a fault in the Moyle Interconnector cable.  The Notice to Mariners can be downloaded here.
  • Cable Repair, May 2017.  This notice was issued on the 4th May and describes the location of first phase or activities that are due to be carried out to repair a fault in the Moyle Interconnector cable.  The Notice to Mariners can be downloaded 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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