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Update on Viking Link –the world’s longest interconnector

heder Viking Link

Update on Viking Link –the world’s longest interconnector

First installation campaign for the brand-new Leonardo da Vinci cable laying vessel


Viking Link, the first submarine cable connection between the UK and Denmark, was awarded by National Grid Viking Link Ltd and Energinet to Prysmian Group in 2019. The link is expected to be complete by end of 2023. The scope of this vast project includes 1,400 km of cabling: 1250 km for the submarine route and the rest for land cables on the UK side.

The High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) interconnector will operate at ± 525 kV DC. Bicker Fen substation in Lincolnshire, Great Britain will be connected to the Revsing substation in South Jutland, Denmark. Cables cross through Dutch, German, Danish and British waters and several economic zones, each territory has its own legislation and stakeholders.

The aim is to increase access to renewable and sustainable energy sources for over 1.4 million households, increase system reliability, reduce electricity cost, and enhance energy supply security by enabling imports, thus supporting the energy transition megatrend. The submarine cables cross over 40 other lines, such as gas and electricity connections. Cooperation on the team responsible for permits, which comprises people from Prysmian as well as from the client side has been excellent.

“We made sure that work could commence immediately after signing in September 2019,” says Fabrizio Traversi, project director. “Production of cables at the Prysmian centre of excellence in Arco Felice, Italy, started immediately and a team of experts was in place. Overall, the project is running according to schedule. We’ve seen quite a few challenges along the way, not least of all COVID-19-related issues, that affected the activities at the Arco Felice manufacturing premises as well as in all the operations. We observe restrictions related to travel, vessel access, and presence at sites. Managing projects in this unexpected scenario is difficult, as there’s less direct, personal contact and oversight. However, manufacturing is going according to plan and operational challenges are being successfully mitigated.”

The first campaign (C1), carried out with Prysmian’s Cable Enterprise vessel, saw some changes to the plan, related with the readiness of HDD, but was finally executed to allow the burial works to proceed without major impacts. Weather was also extremely severe throughout the season, much worse than historical data and statistics would suggest. A second campaign (C2) have been completed beginning of October by Leonardo da Vinci. This is the first job for Prysmian’s new €170 m Leonardo da Vinci, the world’s most advanced cable-laying vessel. Including two rotating platforms with a capacity of 7,000 and 10,000 tons this offers the highest carousel capacity in the market. The Leonardo da Vinci can store and install longer lengths of cable than any other vessel in the world. Fewer joints and campaigns are required per project, significantly improving overall project efficiency.

 

“We’ve passed several milestones successfully, including completing manufacture, testing and shipping of the land cables, and the finalization of six sections of submarine cable with the relevant Factory Acceptance Tests. Moreover the full amount of land cable drums (118) has been already shipped from Arco Felice to the UK, with the last batch of 15 drums arrived at the end of July.”

“Thanks to the breadth of experience within Prysmian and our proven turnkey capabilities, we are able to take decisions quickly, thus being able to solve unexpected situations and maintain the expected progress. In a project of the size of Viking Link this approach is a key element for the final success. This project has offered Prysmian a unique opportunity to gain experience with working in harsh conditions, this has been challenging as well as very stimulating. We’re looking forward to expanding our activities in this exciting market!”

Array

Fabrizio Traversi

Project Director