ScottishPower has started work on an ambitious project to secure the electricity network between Aberdyfi and Aberystwyth. The project will replace two 1.5km cable circuits under the Dovey Estuary from Ynyslas beach to Aberdyfi Golf Club and will be one of the longest under-sea cabling project in the UK.
The original cables were laid about 25 years ago, and in the intervening years tidal erosion and estuary movement have brought the cables to the surface.
The ambitious 1500m drilling operation under the estuary will take place during February. The drilling will start from both sides of the estuary. A continuous steel pipe, 16 inches in diameter will then be pulled back allowing the polythene sub ducts to be drawn in and once these are in place the delicate operation of pulling in the continuous lengths of high voltage cable will begin. The project is planned to be completed by April.
Steve Chantler, Major Projects Manager, ScottishPower said: "We recognised the challenge of providing a long-term solution to ensure the electrical supplies were re-secured across the Dovey Estuary. This has required careful planning and co-ordination together with close assistance from a number of bodies such as the Local Authority, the Countryside Council for Wales, environmental groups and of course the Aberdyfi Golf Club."
Engineers have also had to consider the potential risk from unexploded World War II bombs and shells on Ynyslas beach. A sub-surface radar of the area was conducted along the proposed route. This resulted in the identification of a variety of objects including a live barrage rocket and a number of shopping trolleys. The unexploded device was subsequently destroyed by bomb disposal experts.
ScottishPower are part of Iberdrola Group, one of the largest electricity companies in the world. Iberdrola recently committed to investing €4.2 billion in the UK as part of it`s 2008-2010 Strategic Plan. This investment in creating on the longest under-sea cabling project in the UK is the result of this investment commitment.
Media information: Jane Holmes 0141 636 4557/ 07753 622 207