This new extra high voltage submarine cable interconnection had begun being installed on October 2011 and was completed on April 2013. This interconnection was considered of strategic importance for the development of the entire national power grid.
The total power transmission capacity of the new link is 2,000 MW and had enhance the current 380 kV alternate current 1,000 MW link that was already connecting the power grids of Sicily and Calabria across the Strait of Messina, which was installed in 1984 by Prysmian PowerLink, then known as Pirelli Cables.
Prysmian PowerLink had contracted Assodivers to protect the two 380 kV alternate current cable circuits between the Villafranca Tirrena (Sicily) and Scilla (Calabria) power stations. Each circuit was comprised of three (3) power cables and one (1) optical cable laid in buddle with one power cable.
The six (6) power cables and the two (2) optical cables laid in bundle with two power cables where buried in practice throughout the route, which had a maximum water depth of about 376m. Each route was in average 38km and crossed 6 other previously installed services, two gas pipes and four telecom cables.
The installation work was divided between the two circuits (of three cables each) and those were laid with about one year interval between each other. The first circuit only was further split in two campaigns.
During the first circuit of the project, on both campaigns, our support vessel 'Argo I' was mobilized and all burial operations were carried out by our jetting vehicle 'Venom 3k-600T'. In addition to the jetting operations, 'Argo I' was mobilized for once more during the second Circuit, equipped with 'AssoTrencher IV' and 'AssoMat II', in order to further protect the cables on hard soil areas and to place mattresses on the crossings with the previously installed cables and pipes.