The Churchill River in Labrador, Canada is a significant source of renewable, clean electrical energy; however, the potential of this river has yet to be fully developed. The existing 5,428 MW Churchill Falls generating station, which began producing power in 1971, harnesses about 65% of the potential generating capacity of the river. The remaining 35% is located at two sites on the lower Churchill River. The so-called Lower Churchill Project has been initiated to exploit this vast potential.
The Lower Churchill Generation Project's two proposed installations, Gull Island and Muskrat Falls, will have a combined capacity of 3,074 MW and can provide 16.7 terawatt hours of electricity per year. The proposed 1,100 km high-voltage direct current (HVDC) link will be the first of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador and will be constructed from the central region of Labrador down to Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula.
The ‘Strait of Belle Isle cable crossing’, located between Labrador and Newfoundland, consists of three, HVDC cables installed in HDD borehole conduits on each side of the Strait which are installed at a depth that will protect the cables from iceberg keel impact.
The cables will be routed along the seabed between the conduit exits on the seafloor. The cable route is approximately 33 km long, of which 29 km lays on the seabed and four km is protected by the conduits.
Labrador-Island Link Limited Partnership (L-ILLP) awarded the contract for subsea rock protection, design, supply and installation to DEME Offshore. The scope of work will consist of the design, supply and installation of three, subsea rock berms for the protection of the submarine HVDC cables and six, HDD exit interfaces. The exposed submarine cable that lays on the seabed will require protection to ensure cable and berm on-bottom stability for the 50-year design life.
DEME Offshore, in turn, awarded the rock supply, transportation and loading contract to Pennecon Energy Marine Base (PEMB). The project requires the construction of a marine terminal, access road in Forteau, Labrador, and approximately 490,000 tonnes of rock for the protection of the HVDC cables. PEMB will produce the rock material from a new quarry located at Crow Head near Forteau.