BritNed, a joint venture between National Grid and TenneT, has constructed a subsea electricity link between Great Britain and the Netherlands. The BritNed cables have a capacity of 1000MW and a length of 260 kilometres. The link has been laid beneath the North Sea and runs between the Isle of Grain in Kent in the UK and the Maasvlakte, near Rotterdam, in the Netherlands.
ABB High Voltage Cables AB was awarded the contract to supply and install an HVDC power cable link. The interconnector link consists of two high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) submarine cables designed to transmit bi-directional electrical power across the North Sea.. ABB subcontracted VBMS to perform the required landfall and nearshore works in the summer of 2009 at the Maasvlakte in the Netherlands.
The scope of work consists of the following:
The VBMS-owned 30-ton pulling winch was used to pull in the HVDC cables to the separation pontoon and the two 40-ton winches were used simultaneously to pull both the HDVC cables, in two 900-metre long ducts, to the joint bay on land.
Construction of the Maasvlakte port extension was a complicating factor, as this was responsible changing water depths, sedimentation and strong tidal currents. To tackle these problems, VBMS's Engineering Team developed special tools, such as over-boarding structures and a cable push frame for an anchor-handling vessel.
Another challenge was the 20-metre space required between the cables under the future land-reclamation area of Maasvlakte II, as far as 600 metres offshore. From this point, the cables were bundled and positioned placed on the seabed, as far as the CLV Team Oman.
VBMS was also contracted to bury the cables from the shoreline at a depth of 10 metres, up to a distance of 3,000 metres off the coast.
Thanks to close co-operation between all inter-company and external parties, the nearshore cable works were completed to the satisfaction of the ABB.
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