Underwater cables installed

SHEPD (Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution) has now completed the installation of three high voltage underwater cables between Eriskay and Barra in the Outer Hebrides and Rousay, Eday and Westray in Orkney.

The ambitious project to lay 21.4km of underwater cables, which cost £2.77m, took months of planning and now laid will replace the originals which have been in place since around 1980.

In the last four years SHEPD has carried out a detailed programme of testing, inspection and surveying for all subsea cables to ensure their reliability. Using this latest underwater surveying equipment available engineers were able to make a decision to replace these three cables before they started to show signs of deterioration.

Project Manager Adam Bain said: “The project was planned over many months and before the subsea cable installations went ahead great care was taken to ensure our work was being done to a high standard environmentally. Conditions at sea also have to be just right in terms of winds, swells, currents and tides before they can go ahead.”

He added: “Our main contractors Briggs Marine have over forty years of experience in subsea maintenance and local contractors were used for all on shore work. Our investment will benefit the local communities by improving the security of supply for many years to come.”