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Work on Subsea Cable in Blackpool 3 October 2007

The MEA Subsea Interconnector cable which was installed in 2000 between Bispham, near Blackpool and Douglas has been undergoing some protection work on the UK side.

A protection operation was actioned recently when local contractors Paul Carey & Son were asked to help the MEA in Bispham to rebury an exposed section of the subsea cable.

Ashton Lewis, Chief Executive explained, “Bispham beach is a constantly changing environment, with winter storms changing the profile of the beach dramatically. As a result of this severe weather, 65 metres of the cable have become exposed at Bispham, approximately 700 meters from the sea wall in the inter-tidal area”.

The remedial work involved the installation of split cast iron articulated pipes around the exposed Interconnector. Fitting of these specialised pipes provided a number of challenges, such as undertaking the work in a limited timeframe (1 hour either side of low water), working in the hours of darkness, installing the split pipes around cables submerged in a pool of water and all with power still on.

Following an earlier trial, the method of undertaking the work was to excavate around the exposed cable, giving sufficient space to allow the installation of the split pipes. JCB diggers were used in the excavation exercise by Manx ground workers Paul Carey & Sons Ltd who supplied a 6 man team to carry out the work.

The Interconnector is now fully protected and covered with the surrounding beach material of sand, cobbles and clay mixture. No evidence of the work being undertaken remains and the beach has been returned to its original condition. Routine monitoring of the area will continue, with this 65 metre section being given particular attention.

Congratulations and thanks to all concerned for a job well done.

For further information, please contact: Alison Cottier, PA & PR Manager, Tel: 687798

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