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.
Gills Harbour Ltd, the community-owned body that owns & operates the busy little port on Caithness's North Coast, has awarded a remedial contract to a Wick-based company. The deal, won in a competitive tender, has gone to builders/civil engineers Messrs GMR Henderson Ltd, of Martha Terrace in Wick.
REPORT FROM GILLS HARBOUR Ltd., GILLS BAY, KW1 4YB, FOR CAITHNESS TRANSPORT FORUM OF 06.03.2019. 1) ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ZONE.
The big offshore construction vessel Seabed Stingray (8,878 tonnes) arrived in the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound from the Cromarty Firth's Nigg Energy Park around 07:00 on Monday (15.10.18) morning with a very special cargo on board. The 121 metre-long vessel was in the narrow strait between Gills Bay and Stroma Island to replace two of the four 'pioneering' tidal turbines that had been lifted out from SIMEC Atlantis Energy's MeyGen site last Summer for inspection and modification at Nigg.
Picture by Gills Harbour Ltd's Hon Sec Lyall Rennie, of Lower Warse, Canisbay KW1 4YB shows the busy Pentalina ferry in foreground approaching the harbour and passing by the heavy offshore construction vessel Viking Neptun. Deployed on Friday 20th July to recover two Andrtiz 1.5 MW turbines for warranty repairs from the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound from SIMEC Atlantis Energy plc's seabed lease, known as the MeyGen site, just off Gills Bay ( just over 1 NM) in NE Caithness.
Since the news came out in the John O'Groat Journal that Stage coach are to change bus services for Gills and John O'Groats protests have been getting louder. the proposed bus timetable changes from 20th August which effectively abolish the direct route from Wick to John o'Groats and Gills.
Gills Harbour Ltd, the community body that owns and runs Gills Harbour on Caithness's North Coast, has a new office-bearer. At its recent Annual General Meeting, Mr Mark Gibson of Northern View, John O'Groats KW1 4YS, was unanimously appointed as the body's Vice-Chairman.
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.
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