Ecosse Subsea Systems to undertake seabed work on Caithness to Moray ConnectorProjects and Operations // March 3, 2015
Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) has signed a Letter of Intent with ABB for a seabed clearance and trenching project in the north of Scotland.
The Banchory-based subsea technology firm will prepare the route for the 100-mile interconnector cable at the centre of SHE Transmission’s £1.2 billion Caithness-Moray transmission link project. Depending on the final scope and options selected, the contract will be ESS’s largest ever contract award.
When completed, the Caithness-Moray cable will be capable of carrying 1.2GW of renewable energy generated in the North of Scotland to the main UK electricity transmission network.
ESS will perform boulder clearance operations and pre-lay trenching prior to the laying of the transmission cable which will run from Spittal in Caithness to Blackhillock in Moray. Once the transmission cable is installed by main contractors ABB, ESS will complete back-fill operations to safely conceal and protect the cable.
Scottish Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, praised the appointment of ESS as an example of Scottish technologies being utilised in contracts of national importance. Mr Ewing said: “I am delighted to hear that Ecosse Subsea Systems has secured this agreement, which will be of significant value to the Banchory-based firm. ESS is a significant local employer, with around 80 staff, and its involvement in the Caithness-Moray project will secure an additional 20 jobs over the next two years. It is an excellent example of a Scottish company using the skills, technology and experience from delivering North Sea oil and gas projects to secure new opportunities.
“As well as having significant local and national supply chain benefits, the Caithness-Moray project will enable 1.2 GW of new renewable generation to connect to the high-voltage network providing enough electricity to power the equivalent of over 500,000 homes and also making a substantial contribution toward our renewable electricity target. Reinforcement of the grid in this resource-rich part of the country will also help to pave the way for future island connections to Orkney and Shetland.”
ESS has already started pre-engineering work on the project and has a scheduled start date of December 2016 for what is estimated to be a six to seven month campaign.
The company is a leading exponent of pre-cut trenching which is widely recognised as more environmentally friendly than traditional cable-laying methods and also offers greater protection for the cable and reduces risk of damage during the lay operations.