Dec 21st, 2021 | 3 min read
North Cape, located on the northern coast of Magerøya island, Norway, is the northernmost point in Europe that can be accessed by car. Constant low temperatures and harsh weather takes a heavy toll on the local energy infrastructure. Yet, any replacement works in the area must be carried out with respect to its unique ecosystem. Pipelife Norge’s cable protection system Protectline is up to these challenges and has been selected to replace an outdated 10-km powerline.
The old overhead lines in North Cape were built in the 50s. They have reached the end of their service life and do not meet today’s standards. The long-needed replacement project started in July, and the new route is planned to run from Kamøyværhøyden to Skarsvåg. Due to the challenging weather conditions, a robust power grid is essential to ensure future development on the island.
Environmental considerations pose an additional challenge to the project. In the area around Skarsvåg and towards the North Cape plateau, there is a grazing area for reindeer that is important to preserve. A good collaboration with the local reindeer husbandry has been fundamental for achieving the sustainability objectives. Mapping of the area has provided opportunities to preserve reindeer grazing areas.
The project is divided into two parts, and the first one is currently in the final phase with 6.6 km of cable ducts already installed. The work will resume in June 2022 and continue throughout the summer and autumn to ensure reindeer are not disturbed during the calving season.
Protectline is produced in Norway and has the environmental product declaration (EPD) attesting to its low ecological impact. The possibility to extract cables also allows reusing or recycling them.
The demand for copper and aluminum demand is on the rise. In this project, 1900 kg copper and 11 000 kg aluminum are used. Extracting and recycling copper cables is a way to prevent wasting precious metals. By recycling these metals, we can move closer to a circular economy.
The old overhead powerlines in North Cape were not only unreliable but also difficult to maintain. Especially in the winter periods of strong winds and snow, there were major problems with getting around to do the necessary maintenance work.
Protectline cable ducts fully meet HSE (health, safety, and environment) requirements, ensuring quick and safe installation. The new route with Protectline cable ducts in the ground will ensure all-time reliable power supply, reducing operation and maintenance costs to energy suppliers.
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