UK-based Briggs Marine has concluded its role as the principal contractor for subsea cable installation projects on Scottish islands, working in collaboration with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution. The initiative, driven by the need to replace existing connecting cables reaching the end of their operational lifespan, aims to bolster the reliability, resilience, and safety of the electricity network serving communities on Arran, Orkney, Hoy, and the Isle of Coll.
The comprehensive project involved the installation of four distinct cable crossings, addressing critical connections in the island network. Notable installations include an 11kv replacement cable spanning from Langamull beach on Mull to Sorisdale on the Isle of Coll. Additionally, a second 33kv cable was laid between Carradale and Arran, with two more 33kv cables crossing between Hoy and Orkney.
Briggs Marine, operating closely with the subsea cable team at SSEN Distribution, successfully executed the four cable installations and eight shore ends within a span of four months. Tasked with the full project management and installation of 15.6 km of new cable between Mull and Coll, as well as 6.6 km from Carradale to Arran, the initial phase required meticulous seabed preparation. This included pre-lay boulder clearance, pre-lay grapnel runs (PLGR), potential unexploded ordnance (pUXO) investigations, and route engineering.
Utilizing its fleet of vessels, Briggs Marine deployed the Kingdom of Fife equipped with a PLGR spread for route clearance operations. Additionally, the Forth Jouster served as the dive support vessel (DSV) throughout the project.
The successful completion of this crucial infrastructure upgrade underscores Briggs Marine's commitment to the resilience and efficiency of the Scottish island electricity network. The initiative addresses the imminent need for cable replacements and sets the stage for enhanced electrical reliability and safety for the island communities of Arran, Orkney, Hoy, and the Isle of Coll.