Nemo Link Interconnector

Nemo Link Interconnector

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Nemo Link is the name of a project to lay high voltage electricity cables under the sea, improving the link between UK and European electricity generation. We have been engaged by Nemo Link (National Grid and Elia) since 2010, originally as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Manager where we coordinated the submissions for onshore and offshore aspects and managed the production of the French and Belgian application documentation. Subsequently we took on the roles of Lead Offshore Consents and Environmental Adviser to ensure that all relevant Marine Licence conditions were discharged to allow installation of the cable. We acted as Environmental Liaison Officer during the construction phase and continue as Lead Offshore Consents and Environmental Adviser into the operational phase. This was having managed the consenting process for remedial works and other activities as well as managing the post-construction monitoring programme. We have been the lead contact with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for this project since its development and have chaired lessons learnt sessions with this organisation and statutory consultees.

Following our management of the project’s EIA, we obtained the consent for NemoLink faster than any other project of its kind at that point (prior to the TEN-E Regulations being enacted). Subsequently, we were engaged as the Marine Consents Advisors post-consent through to the operational phase where post-construction environmental monitoring works are ongoing.

Specific experience includes:

  • Management of cable route development studies
  • EIA and input into cable route development based on findings;
  • Preparing application and supporting information to secure consent from Natural England under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to undertake geotechnical investigations in an intertidal area designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Protection Area (SPA).
  • Submission of the application for UK waters and coordination of the submission of the applications for UK and Belgian onshore and French and Belgian offshore components of the project.
  • Consents and environmental advice from pre-construction through to post-construction.
  • Securing a variation to the existing Marine Licence for increased pre-sweep dredge volumes including the development of a contaminant survey scope and management of the survey to support the application;
  • Securing all relevant consents in relation to UXO investigation and detonation.
  • Securing post-lay exemptions and marine licences for remedial works and cable protection.
  • Acting as sole point of contact with the MMO and Statutory Consultees and managing the discharge of all pre-commencement conditions.
  • Environmental Liaison Officer during construction, including audit of the construction site in the intertidal zone.
  • Author of offshore management plans and survey scopes, including Environmental Management Plan, Marine Pollution Contingency Plan, Waste Management Plan, Pre-Construction Annex I Habitat Survey Methodology, Post-Construction Saltmarsh Monitoring Methodology and the Post-Construction Intertidal Invertebrates Survey Methodology.
  • Peer review of contractor survey reports prior to construction start.
  • Management of the archaeological subcontractor to establish the Archaeological Written Scheme of Investigation and Finds Reporting Protocol, leading on consultation with Historic England.
  • Planning and chairing of a Lessons Learnt session following construction of the project with the MMO, Natural England and Cefas.
  • Management of post-construction monitoring.