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Emera set to install submarine power transmission cables

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The first of two massive submarine power transmission cables arrived in Atlantic Canada aboard the cable-laying ship the Skagerrak.

Integral to Emera’s Maritime Link Project, these cables each measure 105 miles and weigh 6,062 tons – combined, the two cables weigh more than the Eiffel Tower. The first cable was manufactured in Halden, Norway, while the second cable, which is expected to arrive in mid-May, was manufactured in Futtsu, Japan.

The arrival of the Skagerrak, operated by the cable supplier Nexans, marks the start of the submarine cable installation process.

Over the next few weeks members of Nexans’ highly specialized crew will prepare for the installation of the first electrical connection across the Cabot Strait between Nova Scotia and the island of Newfoundland.

Throughout the various stages of the manufacturing process and transport of each cable, members of Emera Newfoundland & Labrador’s Marine Team have been monitoring and inspecting the progression to maintain quality assurance.

"Throughout the manufacturing process, the successful testing phase and the transportation of cables, the team’s commitment continues to be the driving force of our success to date. This brings us another step closer to the completion of the Maritime Link Project later this year."

Nexans used two facilities for cable manufacturing, allowing both cables to be produced at the same time. The cable manufactured in Futtsu, Japan, was spooled onto a giant barge in early April, and then loaded onto a heavy lift vessel (HLV) for the long journey to the Cabot Strait to await installation.

The HLV carrying the second submarine cable from Japan will take about six weeks to travel to the port in Sydney, NS. It will travel across the Pacific Ocean, through the Panama Canal and then up the Eastern Seaboard. Expected to arrive in mid-May, it will be loaded onboard the Skagerrak once the first cable is installed. Installation of both submarine cables is expected to be completed by late summer.

Maritime Link Project is part of a larger strategy to address the growing demand for more renewable energy in the region. It will enable the transmission of clean, renewable and reliable electricity from Newfoundland and Labrador to Nova Scotia.

The Maritime Link is a 500 MW high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission project bringing clean renewable energy from the Lower Churchill project at Muskrat Falls to Nova Scotia. The Project will include two 170 km subsea cables across the Cabot Strait, with almost 50 km of overland transmission in Nova Scotia and more than 300 km of overland transmission on the island of Newfoundland.