The turnkey contract covers engineering, design, supply, installation and testing of the interconnection and was awarded and approved only 20 days after the Spanish Council of Ministers granted the administrative authorisation for construction to Red Eléctrica. A special crane will also be built in Menorca to enable round-the-clock work on the high-voltage grid.
The new underground and submarine 132 kV power cables will be 68km long, with the submarine cable laid on the seabed at a maximum depth of 81 metres. This is part of an €84m interconnection project between the two islands to allow greater integration of renewable energy under safe conditions for the system and a greater efficiency of the interconnected systems. Even with the fast approval, it wil take until 2020 to be up and running.
"We have streamlined all the necessary procedures to shorten the deadlines as much as possible and have a new cable functioning in the shortest time span, taking into account the complexity of the tender. In this sense and prior to the approval by the Council of Ministers, we had been working for months to advance in all the previous and essential steps to carry out the tender,” said Eva Pagán, General Director of Transport for Red Eléctrica.
The subsea cable will be manufactured by Nexans Norway in its Halden facility while the underground cable will be produced by Nexans Benelux in Charleroi, Belgium. A fibre optic element will be delivered by Nexans Norway’s specialist unit in Rognan and the installation will be carried out by cable laying vessel, C/S Nexans Skagerrak.
“This builds on Nexans’ long track record of successful power interconnector projects, including the recent NordLink project between Norway and Germany or the MonIta project between Montenegro and Italy,” said Ragnhild Katteland, Nexans Vice President Subsea and Land Systems. "By delivering a power interconnector between Majorca and Menorca, Nexans will bring security of supply, improving renewable integration and enhancing efficiency for both islands.”