The company said that the original cables were laid about 25 years ago, and in the intervening years tidal erosion and estuary movement have brought the cables to the surface.

The 1,500 meters drilling operation under the estuary will take place during February 2008. The drilling will start from both sides of the estuary, the company said. A continuous steel pipe, 16 inches in diameter, will then be pulled back allowing the polythene sub ducts to be drawn in and once these are in place the delicate operation of pulling in the continuous lengths of high voltage cable will begin, according to ScottishPower. The project is planned to be completed by April 2008.

Steve Chantler, major projects manager at ScottishPower, said: We recognized the challenge of providing a long-term solution to ensure the electrical supplies were re-secured across the Dovey estuary. This has required careful planning and co-ordination together with close assistance from a number of bodies such as the local authority, the Countryside Council for Wales, environmental groups and of course the Aberdyfi Golf Club.