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Construction work on the second submarine cable in the Väike Väin Strain as ordered by Elering began this week. Once the cable is completed, the dam between Muhu and Saaremaa will be freed from the approximately 60-year-old high-voltage overhead transmission line by the end of the year.

The overall length of the second 110-kilovolt submarine cable in the Väike Väin Strait is approximately seven kilometres, five of which are located directly in the sea. The cable connects the overhead line ending on the west coast of Muhu Island with the Orissaare substation on Saaremaa.

Connecto Eesti, the winner of the public procurement, will perform the work as ordered by Elering. Pipeline excavation work will begin on the mainland this week. In the first stage, excavation work will be performed at Orissaare, with work in the second stage taking place on Muhu. This is expected to be complete in May, after which the high-voltage cable will be installed in the pipeline. From the middle of July, excavation work will continue in the Väike Väin conservation area. The final installation of the submarine cable on the bottom of the strait is planned to take place in the middle of August.

The diameter of the cable is 190 millimetres and it has a weight of 67 kg per metre. The cable will be installed as a single long cable and embedded in the seabed in order to reduce the risk of any damage to it. A fibre-optic communications cable will be installed in the sea along with the new cable. The new cable has the same technical specifications as the first submarine cable that was installed in the Väike Väin Strait in 2019. By October, the old high-voltage overhead transmission line on the Väike Väin dam will be dismantled, allowing safe passage for birds flying over the dam.

The construction of the second submarine cable in the Väike Väin Strait is partly financed by the Recovery and Resilience Facility of the European Union. Building the cable will cost 7.3 million euros in total.

Elering built the first submarine cable between Muhu and Saaremaa in 2019. This allowed dismantling one of the overhead lines from the Väinatamm masts. Meanwhile, Elering designated the remaining overhead line with markers, which in turn made the line more visible to birds, thereby making it safer for them.

Elering has additionally replaced the Soviet-era submarine cables in the Suur Väin Strait with modern ones – the first one was completed in 2015, and the second in 2020. Elering has invested a total of 31.1 million euros in new submarine cables in Suur Väin and Väike Väin straits. The cables ensure the security of supply of the major islands and provide a safe passage route for birds.