Nexans patches up Malta-Sicily subsea interconnector


Nexans has completed the repair of a 95 kilometre subsea high voltage cable linking Malta with Sicily.

Malta-Sicily subsea interconnector repair

The Interconnector cable suffered a damage at the end of 2019 by a ship anchor.

Nexans mobilized its IMR team to help Enemalta find the damage location and confirm the nature of the fault.

In the first week of January 2020, Nexans mobilized the Polar King subsea vessel to inspect the cable damage.

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The vessel’s ROV confirmed the anchor damage at approximately 25 kilometres offshore Sicily at a depth of 150 metres.

Nexans then used its Capjet water-jetting system to expose the cable that had been buried into the seabed.

After this the damaged part of the cable was cut out and the ends sealed of to prevent further damage.

A critical step in the operations was to inspect the spare length of cable and joints, held in store by Enemalta, Nexans explains.

The cable repair vessel then mobilised to Malta and started loading the spare cable in mid-February.

In mid-March, Nexans spliced in a section of the spare cable at the damaged area.

This enabled the re-energisation of the interconnector three months after the damage.

The Polar King will return shortly to use its Capjet water-jetting system to trench the repaired cable section to a depth of approximately 1.5 metres.

Nexans delivered the Malta-Sicily Interconnector in 2014.

The interconnection with Italy’s power grid has allowed Malta to reduce its reliance on local generation and increase its security of supply.

The cable has a capacity of 200MW and is a 3-core 220kV submarine cable with XLPE insulation and includes two fibre optic elements each with 36 fibres; installed at water depths of 150 metres and buried to around 1-1.5 metres below the seabed surface.