Maritime Electric resumed work to repair an underwater cable that carries electricity to P.E.I. on Tuesday.

The company started repairs earlier this month, but bad weather put the project on hold when the barge crews were working from was damaged last week.

"I'm pleased to say the barge is out on the (Northumberland) Strait this morning," said John Gaudet, vice-president of operations and engineering for Maritime Electric.

A hole is allowing insulating oil to escape and now crews are trying to replace a faulty section of the underwater cable. Repairs include lifting both ends of the cable out of the water and splicing in a new section.

oil-leak

A hole in this underwater cable is allowing insulating oil to escape. (Maritime Electric)

 

About one third of the estimated 6,000 litres of leaked oil have been recovered from land and water.

If weather permits, Maritime Electric said the repairs should finish next week.

The company noticed two leaks in their cables earlier this Spring.

So far the company has completed repairs to a separate leak in a portion of the cable above the water.

The Island is using back up power plants while the repairs are underway.

The estimated cost of the repairs is close to $5 million. The P.E.I. government has been lobbying Ottawa for financial assistance to build a third cable to the mainland, at an estimated cost of $90 million. The existing cables are 34 years old, and have an expected lifespan of 40 to 50 years.