Work to install more than half a kilometre of piping under popular East Lothian beach completed

A “pipe push” beneath an East Lothian beach as part of a major offshore wind project has been completed.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:30 pm

The work has seen the installation of 650 metres of plastic ducting underneath Thorntonloch Beach, near Dunbar, as part of the construction of the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm.

It marks the final stage of the “horizontal directional drill” exercise in preparation for the electricity transmission cable for the wind farm, jointly owned by EDF Renewables and ESB, being installed later this year.

The ducting passed through a borehole some 15 metres below the beach before emerging out onto the seabed about 500 metres offshore.

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The work has seen the installation of 650 metres of plastic ducting underneath Thorntonloch Beach, near Dunbar, as part of the construction of the Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm. Picture: Peter Devlin

Later this year, the offshore transmission cables will be pulled through the ducting and joined to the onshore transmission line. The wind farm is expected to be operational in 2023.

Onshore construction continues for the wind farm at various locations along the cable route which runs underground from Thorntonloch beach and into the Lammermuir Hills. Offshore work started in August last year.

Project director Matthias Haag said: “The ‘pipe push’ at Thorntonloch Beach completes a significant stage of the onshore construction for Neart na Gaoithe which is a major infrastructure project for Scotland and is now well under way.”

He added: “We’re now fully prepared for the transmission cable to be installed later this year and I’m really excited to see the project move a step closer to our target of being fully operational in 2023.”

Neart na Gaoithe, which means “strength of the wind”, is a key UK offshore wind farm project with up to £1.8 billion invested in its infrastructure.

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