£70m undersea power cable from Normandy

   

The installation of Jersey’s third undersea electricity supply cable to France, known as Normandie 3, has got underway.

The 7,000-tonne, specialist cable-laying barge, the Cable Enterprise, with a crew of 60, made the 32km journey to Longbeach in the Royal Bay of Grouville, along a precision route at the rate of approximately 50 metres an hour. The 2,500-tonne, £40m, 100MW cable was uncoiled from its turntable, gently lowered overboard and buried two metres beneath the seabed.

Weather permitting, the Cable Enterprise is expected to land the cable, which has been manufactured by Prysmian in Naples, Italy, at Longbeach around the beginning of June. It will be brought from the sea up the beach on temporary rollers, pulled through a pre-installed duct laid under the sand dune and into a ‘transition bay’ dug in the car park where the subsea cable will be connected to the 7km land cable that runs to South Hill Switching Station on Mount Bingham.

The launch of the Cable Enterprise is the next stage in what has been a complex, 10-year planningprocess for Jersey Electricity costing in the region of £70m.

CEO Chris Ambler said: ‘It is another milestone in our 30-year relationship with the French power industry and further evidence of the success of our partnership with Guernsey Electricity in the Channel Islands Electricity Grid (CIEG). We are all absolutely delighted to see this long process finally come to fruition. My thanks go to all our Project Team, especially the Jersey Fishermen’sAssociation.’

Mr Ambler, who signed a €1 billion, 10-year supply agreement with Électricité de France (EDF) in Paris in June 2011, also thanked the French, adding: ‘We are grateful to all the many French authorities, interested parties and local residents with whom we have worked over the many years of planning this project.’

He continued: “As the world strives to reduce carbon emissions to prevent further global warming while demand for energy continues to increase, long-term investment in projects such as this is vital. Normandie 3 and our existing link, along with our supply agreement with EDF, guarantee our island secure supplies of low carbon electricity from France’s hydro and nuclear sources long into the future. This is vital to sustaining our community and our economy.

‘A further link, to replace our decommissioned original cable EDF1 over the same route, is already on the drawing board. Not only will these links guarantee Jersey a long-term low carbon future, when large-scale renewables such as offshore wind or tidal become viable, they could facilitate the exportation of power from Jersey.

‘We look forward to celebrating completion of Normandie 3 in the coming months and hope that this project will further deepen our relationships with our French and Guernsey partners long into the future.’