Swedish firm MMT has started offshore geophysical survey for the proposed 2GW Aquind interconnector project between the UK and France.

The £1.1bn Aquind undersea and underground electricity cable project is scheduled to be commissioned in 2021.

Designed to add additional capacity to the UK power grid, the subsea high voltage direct current (HVDC) electric power transmission line will connect northern France's nuclear-powered electricity grid to southern England.

The scope of the MMT’s offshore geophysical survey includes surveying the proposed cable corridor between the landfall areas near Portsmouth in England and near Dieppe in France.

MMT said it plans to use the M/V Franklin vessel for offshore works as well as the M/V Seabeam vessel for nearshore works.

The two vessels feature latest survey technology including multibeam echo sounders, side-scan sonars and sub-bottom profilers.

Based on the survey results, the final route selection will be made for the Aquind interconnector project. The results will also support planning applications to the UK and French authorities.

MMT CEO Stefan Eliasson said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to support the AQUIND Interconnector project work and look forward working with the Aquind Team to deliver a successful marine survey campaign along the proposed cable corridor.”

In addition to improving security of supply, the Aquind Interconnector is expected to help boost renewable power integration and make the national grids more robust.

The interconnector will be designed to transmit approximately 16,000,000MWh of cleaner electricity annually, enough to power 4,000,000 homes.

Additionally, the project is expected to contribute to lower energy prices while reducing the country’s per capita carbon footprint.

Image: MMT will use M/V Franklin vessel for offshore works for the Aquind interconnector project. Photo: courtesy of MMT Group AB.