Nfld. & Labrador

Muskrat Falls reaches milestone with marine cable installation in the Strait of Belle Isle

A critical component of the Muskrat Falls project began Monday with the installation of marine cables in the Strait of Belle Isle.

First piece of cable was successfully installed Monday

A whale was on hand to witness the cable installation in the Strait of Belle Isle that will link the new transmission line from Labrador to the island. (Nalcor)

A critical component of the Muskrat Falls project began Monday with the installation of marine cables in the Strait of Belle Isle.

These cables will link the new transmission line from Labrador to the island and will carry electricity from Muskrat Falls to the Avalon Peninsula.

The first piece of cable had been safely and successfully pulled more than one kilometer through a conduit that was drilled from the seafloor to the shore at Forteau, according to a statement released by Nalcor Monday afternoon.

This is the beginning of a two-month campaign that will connect, via three cables on the sea floor, the Labrador community of Forteau and Shoal Cove, on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. 

"We couldn't be more proud of the team for this achievement," Greg Fleming, marine crossings project manager with the Lower Churchill Project, said in a statement.

"Getting to this point has been years in the making, and it's great to finally reach such an important and historic milestone for the project and the province."

The installation not only marks a milestone for the controversial hydroelectric project, it also broke a world record.

According to Nalcor, the conduits at Forteau, which are 1,300 m long and in 70 m of water, are more than 1.5 times longer than the current record and are in more than double the water depth.

All marine cable installation activities in the Strait of Belle Isle are scheduled for completion in fall 2016.