January 6, 2009, Ireland -- EirGrid plc has appointed international engineering consultancy Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) as Employer's Representative on the East West Interconnector Project, an HVDC (high voltage
direct current) power interconnection between Ireland and the UK. PB will perform the role
with its alliance partner, marine environmental design and risk management specialist, Metoc
Linking the electricity grids of Ireland and the UK, the subsea interconnector is being
developed, and will be owned, by EirGrid, the independent Irish electricity grid operator,
working closely with the Commission for Energy Regulation in Ireland. The 500 MW
interconnector will increase security of supply and competition in the Irish electricity market,
and is due for completion in 2012.
EirGrid's Project Director, John Fitzgerald, commented on PB's appointment, saying, “We in
EirGrid look forward to working with Parsons Brinckerhoff in the coming years to meet the
challenges of delivering this critical infrastructure.”
PB has been involved in the development phase of the Interconnector project, both as
Technical Advisor and Civil Engineering Consultant, advising on issues relating to
procurement, system integration and the UK civil aspects of the project. This new contract,
signed on Dec. 15, will see PB heavily involved throughout the implementation phase,
managing the EPC contractor on behalf of EirGrid.
Tenders are currently being received from major EPC contractors to manufacture, install and
commission HVDC converter stations, land and subsea cables, and the necessary power
infrastructure to connect the 400 kV grid in Ireland, where EirGrid is the Transmission
System Operator and ESB Networks is the Transmission Asset Owner, with the UK 400 kV
grid operated by National Grid.
A 400 kV connection at the 400 kV Woodland substation outside of Dublin will be linked to an
HVDC converter station. From there it will connect via cable to a landing point on the Irish
coast. A subsea cable will be laid on the bed of the Irish Sea, to be landed on the North
Wales coast, from where there will be a cable connection an HVDC converter station linked
to a 400 kV connection at the Deeside substation in North Wales.
This is the first project undertaken by PB with its alliance partner Metoc plc, who will provide
project management, technical support and installation representation for all marine
activities. PB will be supported by two further specialist subconsultants, AndersenPES
(HVDC technology) and PowerSure Technology (cable technology), who also worked with
PB during the development stages of the Interconnector.
PB's cable, overhead line and substation experts have extensive experience in projects of
this nature, including roles on the Caprivi HVDC Link Interconnector between Namibia and
Zambia, and the Basslink HVDC subsea interconnector between northern Tasmania and
The scope of PB's services comprises:
plan; setting up systems for EPC contract commencement
performance and payments; manufacturing inspections, witness testing and construction
supervision for the converter station sites, land cable route and marine elements;
About Parsons Brinckerhoff:
About Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB). PB is a global leader in developing and operating
infrastructure around the world, with around 13,000 employees dedicated to meeting the
needs of clients and communities across Europe, Africa, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia
and the Australia-Pacific region. Clients come to PB for a wide range of advice, skills and
resources in strategic consulting, programme management, planning, engineering,
construction management and operations. For over a century PB has earned a distinguished
reputation for delivering world-class infrastructure and its technical expertise in power,
transportation, community development, water and the environment. www.pbworld.com/ea
About Metoc plc. Metoc provides environmental design and risk management services to
add and retain value throughout an asset's life cycle by understanding how the project/asset
affects, and is affected by, the environment. Metoc is an independent company with over 25
years' experience in the marine, coastal and river environments for marine cables, renewable
energy, water, oil & gas, and coastal developments. Over the last 12 years, Metoc has
provided a life cycle of services on several large-scale cable interconnectors; from initial
route engineering and assessment to all aspects of the installation and client representation.
Metoc aims to stand alone, in providing clients with an exemplary service on every project.
About EirGrid plc.
EirGrid is the independent electricity Transmission System Operator
(TSO) in Ireland and the Market Operator in the wholesale electricity trading system.
EirGrid's role is to deliver services to generators, suppliers and customers across the high
voltage electricity system, and to put in place the grid infrastructure needed to support
Ireland's economy. EirGrid develops, maintains and operates a safe, secure, reliable,
economical and efficient transmission system. It plays a key role in the operation of the
Single Electricity Market, as well as developing key infrastructural projects. www.eirgrid.com
Maria Laffey, Marketing Communications Manager
Parsons Brinckerhoff Ltd
Tel: 44-(0)191-226-2565; e-mail: [email protected]