ESB international and ESB networks have spent the last number of weeks working in conjunction with a number of sub-contractors in order to repair a sub sea power cable. The cable served the islands of Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr and upon failure the islands were left in temporary darkness for a weekend. ESB shipped in a specialist generator in order to restore power to the islands, however the process of repairing the power cable had only just begun.
Ordinarily if a fault occurred in an undersea power cable, crews would be forced to haul the power cable up on a barge and repair the damage. Given the fact that the power cable in question measured 10.5 Km in length this would, as one would imagine, work out as a time consuming and arduous task. ESB instead decided to locate the fault by sending electrical surges through the cable then using a team of specialised divers once the fault had been located. This project took 7 weeks with 97 separate dives being done by teams of expert divers.
This was a largely unprecedented project posing unique problems in terms of health and safety. For this reason Coyle Group were appointed health & safety co-ordinators for this specialist project. We worked closely with both ESB networks and ESB international as well as a range of sub-contractors
“This project symbolised a major achievement for us at Coyle Group. On this project which had a lot of high risk potential, we are delighted to say that all work was completed with 0 accidents and 0 incidents. This achievement was only made possible by collaboration with all parties involved. We look forward to further building on our relationship with ESB and engaging in more specialised projects in the future”
– Gavin Coyle, CEO of Coyle Group
Taking on such a unique project such as this provided a number of health and safety challenges for Coyle Group. This was not a standard health and safety audit of a generic construction or engineering project. It posed unique challenges and potential hazards all of which were identified and successfully avoided. Overall the project was successful both in terms of restoring power to Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr and from Coyle’s perspective of keeping workers safe from harm during a potentially hazardous project.
Power was restored last Friday, with testing taking place over the weekend to ensure everything was functioning correctly. The video below gives a more in-depth look at ESB, Coyle Group and other parties hard work off the west coast.