Swedish survey specialist MMT has been assigned by EirGrid to perform a geophysical survey over the existing East West Interconnector in the Irish Sea.
At 262km in length, 186km of which is beneath the Irish Sea, the East West Interconnector (EWIC) links the electricity transmission grids of Ireland and Great Britain, from converter stations at Portan in Ireland to Shotton in Wales. The EWIC has been in commercial operation since December 2012.
The subsea cable is buried for most of its length to avoid damage from anchors or trawling activity.
The purpose of the survey is to assess the burial condition of the cable and any changes to the cable’s current protection and environmental conditions by means of multibeam echosounder and side scan sonar.
For this purpose MMT will deploy its offshore survey vessel Deep Helder and nearshore survey vessel Ping, in addition to a topographic survey of the cable landings using an unmanned aerial vehicle.
Mobilisation is currently ongoing with the marine survey works to be performed during the month of July.