ScottishPower says 450 engineering jobs will be created during construction of a £1.3Bn Cross Border Sub Sea link on which work was started last week by a Siemens and Prysmian joint venture which has been awarded the £1Bn main contract.
ScottishPower says the Western Link HVDC project will enhance the UK’s energy security and will be a worldwide benchmark as nothing of this type has been attempted on such a scale before.
The Western Link project will create the first sub-sea electricity link between Scotland and England/Wales when completed in 2016. It is designed to be bi-directional so electricity can flow in either direction according to supply and demand.
The scheme involves laying a total of some 260 miles of high voltage sub-sea cable from Scotland’s west coast to Connah’s Quay in North Wales. The link will increase the capacity of electricity flow between Scotland and England by over 2,000 megawatts, enough power for some four million homes a year. Work has also started on another part of the project, the North Shore Convertor Station at Hunterston in Ayrshire.
The Western Link is part of a £2.6Bn investment programme by ScottishPower for the eight year period from 2013 to 2021 which is expected to create up to 1,500 jobs. It includes onshore and offshore wind generation projects, renewal and replacement of 15% of the company’s substations, replacement of some 800 kilometres of overhead line and other network modernisations.
ScottishPower Chairman Ignacio Galan, said: “We are pleased to mark the start of construction on this hugely ambitious sub-sea electricity connection project. Our engineers are currently delivering some of the most important upgrades to the electricity network for more than half a century, with billions of pounds being invested and thousands of jobs being supported and created.
“We are planning a total investment in excess of £10 billion by the end of the decade, with the majority on network upgrades and renewable energy projects.”
Photo: UK Energy Minister Michael Fallon MP and ScottishPower Chairman Ignacio Galán meet engineers and trainees at ScottishPower’s training facility near Glasgow.Photo courtesy of ScottishPower