Photo: UK-Morocco interconnector; Source: Xlinks

Xlinks seeks marine survey services for UK-Morocco interconnector

The UK-based Xlinks has opened a tender for marine geophysical and geotechnical surveys to be performed on the interconnector cable route between Morocco and the UK.

Xlinks is looking to award one contract for the marine geophysical, geotechnical and environmental route investigation surveys along the approximately 3,600-kilometre interconnector route, including data acquisition, processing, charting and reporting.

The scope of the work covers nearshore and offshore geophysical and hydrographic survey, unexploded ordnance (UXO) survey and nearshore and offshore geotechnical investigations.

It also involves nearshore and offshore benthic investigations, nearshore geotechnical boreholes as well as remotely operated vehicle (ROV) investigations.

The estimated total value of the contract excluding value-added tax (VAT) is £13 million (around $17.4 million).

The deadline for the interested parties to submit their application is 17 January 2022. The contract duration is six months with no options for renewal.

Xlinks is developing the Morocco-UK power project, set to be a new electricity generation facility entirely powered by solar and wind energy combined with a battery storage facility.

Located in Morocco’s region of Guelmim Oued Noun, it will cover an approximate area of 1,500 square kilometres and will be connected to the United Kingdom via 3,800-kilometre HVDC subsea cables.

Regarded as the first of a kind, the project will generate 10.5 GW of zero-carbon electricity from the sun and wind to deliver 3.6 GW of reliable energy for an average of 20+ hours a day. According to Xlinks, this is enough to provide low-cost, clean power to over seven million British homes by 2030.

As explained, the onsite 20 GWh / 5 GW battery facility will provide sufficient storage to deliver every day a source of flexible and predictable clean energy for Britain, designed to complement the renewable energy already generated across the UK.

Four cables, each 3,800 kilometres long, form the twin 1.8 GW HVDC subsea cable systems that will follow the shallow water route from the Moroccan site to a grid location in Great Britain, passing Spain, Portugal, and France.

The agreement has been reached with National Grid for two 1.8GW connections at Alverdiscott in Devon. Voltage source convertor stations will enable the Xlinks project to secure high-value balancing contracts with National Grid, and an HVDC technical feasibility study has been completed to validate reliability and cost.

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