Western Link HVDC

31km underground installation of 125mm high-voltage direct current (HVDC) in Wirral

Project outline

The scope of the project is to complete all civil works associated with the cable installation, including the installation of two, 600kv cables from Flintshire Bridge DC converter station to a transition sea/land joint bay at Leasowe.


Key challenges

From the new converter station at Flintshire Bridge, the underground cable will pass through various types of land which can be low lying and subject to flooding. The route runs through predominantly agricultural land but also a section of the A540 which will require careful traffic management during the installation.

The route includes a number of horizontal directional drilling crossings and substantial land drainage work is needed. Many of the fields are stocked and include bespoke fencing dictated by the land owner agreements.

Environmental sensitivities include wintering birds, newts and other wildlife.

Project delivery and innovations

The cable is a single core ±kv HVDC mass impregnated PPL insulated cable with 2,400 mm² copper conductor, lead alloy sheath and PE finish.

V trench excavation is being used which reduces the need for operatives to work directly in the trenches and also reduces the number of man hours. Environmental benefits of this technology include reduced materials (timber) and plant movements.

Key facts

This project will include:

  • 37 horizontal directional drilling crossings including rail, water course, road, golf course and woodland crossings
  • 12 road crossings
  • 12km newt fencing


Prysmian Group



Completion Date

October 2016



Capabilities Demonstrated

  • Power systems engineering

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