Seabed cable-laying operations in the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound, off Canisbay
12th September 2015
Seabed cable-laying operations in the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound, off Canisbay, which may occur in the period 10.09.15 to 25.09.15.
The cable ship being used in the Inner Sound is the 121 metre long Siem Daya 1 and she will reel in the four cables at Hartlepool in NE England. A modern 'Offshore Subsea Construction Vessel' with accommodation for 110 persons on board , she is expected to work round the clock for 48 hours to actually lay the cables. The 8,400 tonne Siem Daya 1 is one of a 50-strong Siem Offshore fleet.
Siem Offshore, a spin-off from Subsea 7 in 2005,, has a corporate unit called SOC ...Siem Offshore Constructors ... that specialises 'in the installation, repair and maintenance of submarine cables for the renewable energy sector' (until now, for offshore wind-farms) in Europe.
The Inner Sound works are to be undertaken by Mojo Maritime of Falmouth, Cornwall and Osiris Marine Ltd, both of which are now James Fisher & Sons plc's subsidiaries.
Also involved in the contract is award-winning Leask Marine of Kirkwall, Orkney
which is deploying its latest multicat , the 2015-acquired 26 metre C-Chariot.
The cables will be laid Northwards out into the Sound from the four 'duct exits' that were near-horizontally drilled during the spring of 2015 by the Manchester company O'Connor Utilities. The cable-ducts are bored into the Caithness flagstone bedrock and dip down so that the mini-tunnels go underneath the rocky Gills Bay forehsorec at Ness of Quoys, on the coats some 200 metres NE of historic Canisbay Kirk.
The ends of the drilled ducts lie c. 550 metres offshore from the headland on Gills Bay, where the 'Power Conversion Building' is currently under construction by the British 'arm' of international Swiss/Swedish electrical contractors ABB.
Before the cable ship, which is fitted with DP (dynamic positioning) capabilities, starts her planned laying operation on 19th September,, a team of divers will have installed rock and concrete-filled bags to 'stabilise the duct protrusions' as well as fitting 'bell-mouths' to those ducts for the cable-pulling operations.
Divers will also be 'setting down' unlit 'pick-up' buoys to mark the cable-ends during the works; a World-first for a demonstration tidal array, with an anticipated installed capacity of 6 MW (megawatts).
The fast little 'rigid inflatable boat' 'Rib Natural Explorer' will be on hand to help ensure that the diving tasks are un-interrupted.
OFFICIAL FIGURES SHOW MORE PEOPLE AND CARS SAILED ACROSS THE PENTLAND FIRTH FROM CAITHNESS TO ORKNEY IN 2016 FROM GILLS BAY THAN ON ANY OTHER ROUTE. Official figures recently published by Scottish Government 'spending watchdog' body Audit Scotland show that the so-called 'short sea-route' from Gills Bay to St Margaret's Hope was the busiest seaway to Orkney across the Pentland Firth in 2016.
One of the contractors that has been operating in the Inner Sound for Atlantis RL's MeyGen site has been taken over by another, a much-larger one. See note on Insight Marine Services Ltd of Cornwall.
Notice of Annual General Meeting: On Tuesday 21.03.2017 @ 19.30. Gills Harbour Ltd: A Community- owned trading Company limited by guarantee.
Jack-up barge Neptune arrives in the PF's Inner Sound early this afternoon 22.09.16. German tug Elbe, which will be working closely with the self-propelled JU, is already on site.
Update From Bill Mowatt. 'Notice to mariners': Installation of first tidal-stream turbine in the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound at Atlantis RL's MeyGen site c.
On Friday 18th September 2015 the 24 metre-long rectangular steel multi-cat C-Chariot built in 2013 was to be seen loading a Data-fish buoy at Gills Harbour, Caithness. North Sea systems Ltd who own the Datafish describe it on their web site (http://www.northseasystems.com/) as follows - "DataFish is North Sea System's metocean survey buoy for unforgiving marine environments.
We thank John Green for his picture of what £4.5 million of marine renewables vessels + kit looks like when alongside at Gills Harbour..
The most modern vessel in the Far North of Scotland's 'marine renewables' fleet is conducting debut operations in the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound this week. (commences 24.08.15).
Scotland's Shadow Minister for Transport Mr David Stewart, Labour MSP for the Highlands & Islands constituency, has made a fact-finding visit to community-owned Gills Harbour on the shores of the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound. There he was shown around by three officers of Gills Harbour Ltd (GHL), the Canisbay company that owns and operates the Scottish Mainland's most Northerly port.
Community-owned Gills Harbour is the most Northerly seaport on the British mainland, lying on the shores of the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound, just off the A 836 road, only four miles West of John O'Groats. The spring of 2015 has seen some significant developments locally, both in sea-transport and marine electricity, that bode well for the future of the little port on the inland 'apex' of Gills Bay; it belongs to the 600 people living along the North coast.
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