Enemalta announced on December 28th the beginning of the work on electricity interconnector with Sicily. A cable laying ship, which has 50km (5,000 tonnes of cable) of the interconnector cable, could be seen from the Coast Road in Bahar ic-Caghaq.
The Nexans Skagerrak ship is a specially made ship which is designed for the laying of underwater cables. The operation saw the submarine cable from the Nexans Skagerrak being pulled towards the Maghtab terminal station. The cable was first passed through a 220m underwater micro tunnel starting from the middle of Qalet Marku bay, and then passed underneath the Coast Road, ending in an 850m culvert which then leads to the Maghtab terminal station.
The underwater cable will be protected from the entrance to the micro tunnel up to 2km offshore with cast iron shells. This is done for ecologically sensitive reasons to minimise damage to the posedonia meadows. These cast iron shells will also serve as extra protection in the case of ships’ anchors and trawlers.
After the first 2km of cable are laid, the ship will continue its journey towards Sicily while laying the cable, then it will go over the cable once again to carry out the jetting of the cable which will bury it in the seabed.
When the whole operation is complete the ship will go back to Norway to load on the next 50km of the cable, after which it will continue the works, joining the second half of the cable and making its way towards Sicily. This operation will start in the coming weeks and will be completed at the Marina in Ragusa.
January 03, 2014; Image: Nexans