First non-metallic armoured sea cable

17 December 2019

Prysmian has launched what is claimed to be a breakthrough innovation in the submarine cable industry, and has successfully laid the first cable, to connect three Greek islands.

Prysmian Group has successfully completed the submarine laying operations for the Evia, Andros and Tinos islands interconnections. The Group, a leading cable maker in the energy and telecom cable systems industry, developed, supplied and installed the first non-metallic armoured cable, whose armour has been designed to incorporate a composite material based on High Modulus Synthetic Fibres, which Prysmian confidently predicts will shape the new generation of cable technology.

The undersea installation, performed by Prysmian’s cable-laying vessel Cable Enterprise, reached a depth of 550 metres between the islands Evia and Andros.

The €21 million contract was awarded in 2018 by IPTO (Independent Power Transmission Operator), the transmission system operator of the Greek electricity system, to provide and promote a robust, reliable and sustainable power transmission system connecting the Evia, Andros and Tinos islands to the mainland power grid.

Innovative product

The company has not yet published technical details of the product, which features armour made of a synthetic material that can be 30% lighter than steel, but by employing it Prysmian will be able to perform ultra-deep installations reaching a depth of 3000 metres, which covers all the likely submarine cable routes to be expected today. The same cable technology will also be used in 2020 for the Crete-Peloponnese submarine interconnection project, which will require an installation depth of about 1000 metres. Prysmian says this will allow a significant reduction in installation risks compared with metallic armoured cables.

“This product is the outcome of 7 years of R&D activities including modelling, materials selection and cable testing which ended up in a true innovative use of a light-weighted, high performance armour developed to provide our utilities and TSO customers with an industry-first solution,” commented Srinivas Siripurapu, EVP and chief R&D officer, Prysmian Group.

Hakan Ozmen, EVP Projects, Prysmian Group, commented “With the launch of this breakthrough innovation, Prysmian Group confirms its commitment towards continuous innovation, especially after the introduction of two new 525 kV extruded land cable systems, qualified with P-Laser and XLPE insulation, respectively”.

Submarine contracts

This project is one of the three submarine power interconnection contracts that Prysmian Group has been awarded in Greece by IPTO, together with the interconnections between the island of Crete and the Peloponnese region of the Greek mainland, and between the island of Syros (Cyclades) and the mainland power transmission system in Lavrion. The Evia, Andros and Tinos islands interconnections are said by Prysmian to confirm its role and commitment in developing the Mediterranean region’s power grids, in particular where deep-water cable installation is concerned.

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