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Subsea Telecom News: Global Marine’s Sovereign powers ahead with Estlink power cable installation

Posted on 01.11.2006 - 08:08 EST in SUBSEA TELECOMS NEWS by admin

Global Marine SystemsGlobal Marine’s Sovereign completed the Beatrice Wind Farm installation project in Scotland and moved straight onto the Finland cable installation for the Estlink project.

Estlink will supply the Nordic electricity market with electricity generated in the Baltics and create a competitive power market between the two regions.

ABB’s Estlink cable, manufactured in Karlskrona, will provide a reliable and secure power supply between Helsinki, Finland and Talin, Estonia. It is also one of the biggest installation projects Global Marine has worked on in the Baltic States and a ‘first’ for Global Marine; simultaneously installing 2 bundled cables, utilising purpose built loading arms, trackway and a 5 metre chute.

Sovereign, one of the most advanced off-shore engineering ships in the world, with a 100 tonne underoll winch, a 10 tonne handling crane and a synchronized 6-wheel pair of cable engines for parallel laying, installed the two 77 km high-voltage power cables at various depths. The burial depth requirements for the project were quite precise, being not greater than one metre in the main, and not greater than 0.6m in areas where the soils have high thermal conductivity. The installation began in Estonia and after negotiating the narrow Finnish archipelago Sovereign arrived in Finland. Throughout the project “touchdown” monitoring, using the underwater Inspection ROV Super Mohawk, was used to ensure the power cables were laid at the correct tension avoiding seafloor obstacles.
As previously mentioned, the load and lay operations were conducted using two purpose built 17 metre static tank loading arms, each radio controlled for synchronised pay out. Using loading arms for this type of power cable installation was a totally new concept for ABB, Parkburn Precision Handling Systems Ltd (the loading arm manufacturer) and Global Marine.

There were some testing times, namely the discovery of a number of ordnances situated extremely close to the installed route. However, the Global Marine crew, led by Captain Simon Hibberd, responded admirably to all of the unexpected challenges. In between the installation and burial operations, the Ships’ Captain and Project Manager Chris Berridge also found the time to conduct a ships’ tour for journalists of Eesti Päevaleht, Estonia’s national newspaper.
A full report and photographs of their visit can be found at: http://www.epl.ee/artikkel/356560

The installation protect, including testing, was completed on 11th October 2006.
After a competitive tender process, Global Marine was selected by ABB on the basis of its experience in the power installation market and its leading edge installation and burial technology. “Global Marine has extensive experience in the power industry, ranging from oil, gas and electricity through to wind farm installations.” said Arne Abrahamsson, Project Manager Estlink HVDC Cable Project at ABB. “This knowledge, coupled with its innovative technology, made us highly confident that our mission critical installation was in safe hands.”
Ian Gaitch, Business Manager at Global Marine responsible for Power & Renewables,
“Estlink is a hugely exciting project for the Baltic region and further proof of Global Marine’s expertise in large scale and complex power cable installation. We are delighted to be a trusted partner of choice to ABB and look forward to further market opportunities in the region.”

The case study is available at: http://www.globalmarinesystems.com/pdfs/estlink.pdf

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Source: Global Marine Systems
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