JE Engineer goes back to sea for Guernsey-Jersey cable link repair

Jersey Electricity’s Senior Project Engineer Jeremy Willis has again put to sea, this time to monitor the pre-emptive repair to the 40km Guernsey-Jersey subsea cable link (GJ1) that runs from Gréve de Lecq to Havelet Bay.

Jerry on CENT

Jeremy on board the Normandie 3 cable laying barge Cable Enterprise last summer

Jeremy spent 11 weeks on board the giant Cable Enterprise barge last summer as client representative during the installation of Jersey’s new interconnector to France Normandie 3. He was also on board Team Oman during a complex repair to GJ1 in 2012 when the 55MW cable developed the first ever fault on the 90kV Channel Island Electricity Grid (CIEG).

GJ1 supplies Guernsey with imported electricity from France via Jersey. Although of primary benefit to Guernsey Electricity (GEL) the cable is co-owned by Jersey Electricity as partners in the CIEG and is strategically important for network security.

Ndurance cable ship

 Ndurance is almost 100m long, 33m wide and has a turntable capacity of 5,000 tons

The section of cable to be replaced is half a kilometre from Les Terres Point, south of Havelet Bay. Guernsey Electricity transferred generation to its on-island power station and powered down the cable earlier this week in readiness for the arrival of repair vessel Ndurance on Tuesday night.

The work is part of the £2m Power Cable Maintenance Agreement (PCMA) the CIEG signed in September 2013 with Dutch installation specialist Visser and Smit Marine Contracting, now VBMS (VolkerWessels Boskalis Marine Solutions),and is expected to take three to four weeks to complete.

Jersey Electricity CEO Chris Ambler said: ‘Since the first repair to GJ1, we, along with Guernsey Electricity, have carefully monitored the performance of this sole inter-island interconnector. Regrettably, last year we observed continuing deterioration in the fibre optics of the cable. As a result, we have agreed that a pre-emptive repair be performed this month. Guernsey Electricity is presently seeking permissions to install a second cable between the islands as soon as possible.’