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One hundred kilometres of NordBalt cable has been laid
2014-05-13

One hundred kilometres of NordBalt cable has been laid

A special ship Topaz Installer has made a second trip into the Baltic Sea to install another 50 kilometre section of a submarine cable which is part of the NordBalt power link to connect Lithuania and Sweden. The operation has been successful.  So far a quarter of the NordBalt cable has already been laid under the Baltic Sea.   
 
“The construction of the cross-border link NordBalt is proceeding smoothly and according to the schedule. In a couple of weeks we are going to lay the third 50 kilometre section of the submarine cable. Lithuania and Sweden are also proceeding with the construction works on land,” said Karolis Sankovski, Head of the Strategic Infrastructure Department of the Lithuanian electricity transmission system Litgrid.
 
A special joint – a unique device that has never been used by Lithuanian energy specialists – was used to connect the two 50 kilometre sections of the cable which were delivered in two trips by the ship. The joint was designed and tested at a laboratory of the automation and power technology manufacturer ABB, with a particular focus on the joint’s reliability, invulnerability and endurance. 
 
The work of connecting the two sections of the cable took nearly a week. The joint was constructed in a special container; one end of the installed cable was lifted on the deck and connected to the section of the cable delivered by the Topaz Installer. 
 
The cable laid on the sea floor will be flushed into the seabed by an underwater robot which will be transported by ship. For flushing the underwater robot will use a high pressure water jet. The work is due to start in the summer, and before this time patrol vessels will be deployed in the Baltic Sea where the cable is being laid to guard it from possible damage. All ships in the area have been advised to keep a safe distance of at least 500 meters. 
 
The NordBalt project also involves works on land. The construction has already started on building a 13 kilometre high voltage underground cable which will be connected to the Klaipėda transformer substation and go through the Klaipėda district, the southern part of Klaipėda city, the Curonian Lagoon and  the Curonian Spit.  The cable divided into approximately one kilometre sections will be installed underground to avoid inconvenience for the residents. Horizontal drilling will be carried under roads and railway tracks; in other places the trenches will be excavated.  The similar works are being carried out in Sweden, where the 40 kilometre land cable will be laid.    
 
The construction of the NordBalt submarine cable started on the sea floor off Lithuanian coast on April 11. A 250 kilometre stretch of the cable is planned to be built by the autumn, more than a half of the total length of the 450 kilometre cable.  
 
The 700 MW NordBalt link is expected to start operating at the end of 2015. It will be the first power link to connect Lithuania with Scandinavia and enable electricity exchange with Sweden. 
 
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