Guernsey Electricity uses cable ship to identify fault

A French cable ship is helping Guernsey Electricity pinpoint a fault with its undersea cable link.

The fault caused a major power cut on 29 April and since then all electricity has been generated on island.

The 6,000 tonne Leon Thevenin, owned by France telecom, sailed from Brest and is expected to be in the area all week.

Sally David, Guernsey Electricity's corporate strategy director, said engineers had narrowed the issue down to a section of the buried cable.

She said: "It's in an area of 500m (1,600ft) in length, it's in about 55m (180ft) of water, we think it's in a buried portion of the cable route and it's about 500-600m (1,600-2,000ft) offshore.

"Hopefully once we identify the nature of the fault we'll then be able to determine how to fix it and that will probably need another ship, but we don't know what type until we find the type of fault."

Ms David said she expected a replacement piece of cable would have to be jointed in place once the problem section had been found.

She said the cable, which has operated for more than 12 years, was about the size of a dinner plate and weighed 80kg (12st 8lb) a metre.

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