Public Invited to Find Out More about Western Link Cable Project

National Grid and Scottish Power Transmission are inviting people to find out more about their plans to lay a new 33-km high voltage electricity cable across the Wirral peninsula.

The underground cable is needed as part of the Western Link, a joint venture project between the two companies to build one of the world’s longest undersea power cables to help bring renewable energy from Scotland to homes and businesses in England and Wales.

Next month, the first two of a series of public information events are to be held in the Hoylake and Pensby area. Other events will follow as work on the cable progresses.

Invitations are being sent to people along the cable route to invite them to the information events.

Graham Edwards, Western Link Project Manager said: “Over the next decade, the country must make the major investment needed to deliver energy security. This project is just one step towards meeting the challenge to modernize and extend the country’s existing energy infrastructure to ensure energy security in years to come and help meet the UK’s carbon reduction targets.”

National Grid and SP Transmission have awarded the contract for the construction of the Western Link to a consortium of Siemens and Prysmian, with Prysmian responsible for the Wirral cable installation work, including all preparations and reinstatement.

Preparations for the start of construction work are underway with the removal of hedgerows and installation of fencing. The main engineering work is due to start this spring on the section of cable between Leasowe and Heswall. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2015.

The cable will be laid mainly in agricultural fields, avoiding environmental designations such as Special Protection Areas and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Where sensitive areas of woodland cannot be avoided, special techniques will be used to drill underneath them.

The cable will come ashore at Leasowe in the north, continuing underground to the east of Heswall and Neston before turning south-west to run between Burton and Puddington towards National Grid’s site at Deeside, where it will be connected into the existing transmission system.

Graham added: “To construct the cable along the Wirral, our contractor will need to establish a temporary working corridor, around 20m wide, which will be fenced off while it is being used. Within this corridor, two cables will be installed in a single trench around 1.5 m deep and 1 m wide.

“The cables will be laid in sections around 1000 m, with joints where the sections meet. The corridor will also be used to store material removed from the trench dug for the cable and to install drainage and a temporary road for the delivery of the cable, which arrives on large drums.”

A series of maps showing the route the cable will take can be viewed on the project website www.westernhvdclink.co.uk.

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