SSEN completes £970mn Caithness-Moray electricity transmission link
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission has completed the construction, commissioning and energisation of the new Caithness-Moray electricity transmission link in Scotland.
The link uses HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) technology to transmit power through a 113km subsea cable beneath the Moray Firth seabed between new converter stations at Spittal in Caithness and Blackhillock in Moray.
Constructed over a period of four years, the project also involved work at eight electricity substation sites and has also required two overhead electricity line reinforcement projects.
Caithness-Moray is the largest single investment ever undertaken by the SSE Group and represents the most significant investment in the north of Scotland electricity transmission system since the 1950s. Total spend for the project will be around £970m* against an allowance of £1,062m, net of £55m of allowance already returned through the Price Control (all in 13/14 prices).
Completed on time and within the allowance approved by Ofgem, the Caithness-Moray link provides up to 1,200MW of capacity to transmit power from the increasing sources of renewable energy from across the far north of Scotland, demonstrating SSE’s focus as a leading provider of infrastructure to enable the transition to a low carbon economy.
The link has already enabled turbines from Beatrice offshore wind farm (588MW on completion) and Dorenell onshore wind farm (177MW on completion) to connect to the national grid with a further 100MW of onshore generation in Caithness and Ross-shire due to connect in the coming months.
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The completion of the link and other electricity transmission projects is expected to help take the Regulatory Asset Value (RAV) of SSEN Transmission to around £3.3bn at 31 March 2019. In the remaining years of the RIIO-T1 Price Control the business has a pipeline of planned capital investment of around £640m, as at 1 January 2019, meaning it remains on track to increase its RAV to around £3.6bn by March 2021.
Dave Gardner, who led the project as SSEN’s Director of Transmission, said: “The successful energisation and commissioning of the Caithness-Moray link, on time and within budget, is a significant achievement for SSEN and everyone involved in the project.
“Caithness-Moray has been a highly complex project, requiring very high standards of project design, development, construction and commissioning. It has been delivered by a team of committed and skilled people, working closely with contractors and other stakeholders. It will support deployment of renewable energy in the north of Scotland for many years to come.”
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.