BOSSES at a port say the base can become a hub for offshore energy sector repairs after completing a huge cable operation.

The Port of Sunderland welcomed the Nexans Skagerrak cable laying vessel, which offloaded 1,500-metres of submarine cable weighing 185 tonnes.

The cable was spooled onto a carousel by Balfour Beatty and port staff, and will be stored at the site for use in North Sea offshore wind farm repairs.

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The project follows investment in a new rail link, crane and hard standing facilities at the port.

Matthew Hunt, Port of Sunderland director, said: “This was an incredibly technical operation that involved running the cable over roads to allow the spooling to take place.

“However, we managed it in such a way that vehicles could still move freely and gain access to all areas of the port.

“Balfour Beatty and our own marine team did an outstanding job.”

Paul Olvhoj, port sales manager, confirmed the base will welcome another similar delivery in the coming days, which he said will further strengthen its energy sector reputation.

He said: “A second vessel will offload further cable before the end of the year and we will again work closely with Balfour Beatty.”