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Grève de Lecq work ‘should be finished by end of month’

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WORK to repair the underwater cable which supplies electricity to Guernsey may be completed later this month following the completion of excavation work at Grève de Lecq.

Excavation work at Grève de Lecq on the electricity cable linking Jersey to Guernsey

Guernsey has been using generator-supplied electricity since 1 October after the 52-kilometre cable connection to Jersey suddenly failed.

Guernsey Electricity, Jersey Electricity, the Jersey authorities and nine specialist organisations have all worked on the initial phase of excavating the area around the faulty section of the cable, which included the removal and storage of approximately 300 tonnes of sand.

The team also worked on planning the repair as well as undertaking civil and electrical engineering.

The section of the cable with the fault has been removed to allow the cause of the failure to be established.

‘We are aiming to complete the repair works by the end of November,’ said Guernsey Electricity’s head of asset management, Stuart Blondel.

‘However, the job is technically challenging, and some planned activities may prove to be more difficult and time-consuming than hoped.

‘We would like to assure customers that we will return the system to service in the quickest and safest way possible.’

When the cable is functional, Guernsey’s electricity travels undersea from France into Jersey, overland to Jersey’s north-west coast and then under the water again to the neighbouring Channel Island.

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Mr Blondel said the fault highlighted the need for Guernsey to add another undersea power cable to protect its supply.

‘This will allow us to achieve our aim of providing a secure, sustainable, affordable and low-carbon electricity supply,’ he said.

‘Guernsey Electricity continues to progress discussions on the potential second cable connection direct to France.’

Since the fault, the company has burned nearly 6,000 tonnes of fuel oil – at a cost in the millions – to keep the lights on in Guernsey.

Tania Targett

By Tania Targett
Journalist

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