As part of a specialist joint venture with Visser & Smit Marine Contracting, VolkerInfra was awarded the contract to design, supply, install, connect and pre-commission test approximately 5.7km of 132kV (extra high voltage) XLPE electricity submarine cable across the Solent for Southern Electric Power Distribution.
This project is the first subsea electrical installation under the Solent waterway for 40 years and will replace one of the three subsea cables which supplies residents and businesses on the Isle of Wight. The cable previously in place, which sits on the seabed, is to be replaced with a new cable that will sit below the seabed.
The project involves laying the cable from Lepe in Hampshire to Thorness Bay on the Isle of Wight using a variety of installation techniques including Horizontal Directional Drilling on the island, specialist marine vessels and equipment to cross the Solent and open cut techniques at Lepe.
The specialist marine team will complete the project in two phases, the first phase will involve the installation of an 875 metre horizontal directional drill from Thorness Bay, Isle of Wight, out into the sea bed of the Solent. The second phase will see the manufacture of a single length of bespoke cable, which will be transported and installed between the two locations under the Solent using specialist divers and marine installation vessels. This phase also involves excavations to install the cable on land and to pre-locate the existing fluid filled cables, which will be connected using fluid/XLPE transition joints. Cable jointing operations will be carried out under specially prepared environments.
This project represents a significant capital investment in the maintenance of the electricity infrastructure to the Isle of Wight.