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Ecosse Subsea Land Pre-Trenching and Post-Lay Backfill Contract on Caithness-Moray Transmission Link

Ecosse Subsea Land Pre-Trenching and Post-Lay Backfill Contract on Caithness-Moray Transmission Link

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18 March 2015

Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) has signed a Letter of Intent with ABB, the leading firm within power and automation technologies, for a seabed clearance and trenching project on the £1.2 billion Caithness-Moray electricity transmission link project.

ESS will prepare the route for the 100-mile interconnector cable at the centre of the SHE Transmission project and depending on the final scope it could be the company’s largest ever contract award.

ESS will perform boulder clearance operations, pre-lay trenching and backfill prior to the laying of the transmission cable which will run Caithness to Moray in the north of Scotland, and post-lay will complete back-fill operations to safely conceal and protect the cable.

Scottish Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, praised the appointment of ESS as an example of Scottish technologies being utilised in contracts of national importance. Mr Ewing said: "I am delighted to hear that Ecosse Subsea Systems has secured this agreement, which will be of significant value to the Banchory-based firm. It is an excellent example of a Scottish company using the skills, technology and experience from delivering North Sea oil and gas projects to secure new opportunities.
Keith McDermott, ESS commercial director, said: "Our commitment and significant investment in pre-lay trenching techniques is now resulting in the award of multi-million pound contracts like the Caithness-Moray transmission cable project.”

ESS managing director, Mike Wilson, added: "Cable owners and manufacturers have recognised that our method reduces the risk of damage to the cable and our use of smaller charter vessels brings huge cost savings. We also reduce the possibility of schedule disruption because, working ahead of the laying phase, we can identify and help solve any potential engineering problems with the proposed seabed route before it reaches a critical point.”

ESS’s deepwater SCAR plough was originally designed for use in the oil and gas sector and continues to work on hydrocarbon projects but the company has successfully adapted the technology to suit the requirements of the renewables sector.