Collaborating to Support Marine Licence Applications from the Subsea Cable Sector

By The UK Management Organisation’s Marine Licensing Team, European Subsea Cables Association
March 19, 2018

The UK Marine Management Organisation’s (MMO) Marine Licensing Team worked with the European Subsea Cables Association (ESCA) to develop a desk note to assist with marine licence applications, which was published in January 2018, the details of which are below.


  1. This desk note provides an overview of the Subsea Cable Sector, the relevant legislation, a description of the different types of cable, the main methods of cable installation, as well as the key impacts to be considered in a subsea cable

What are the types of Subsea Cable?

  1. There are three primary types of cables which the MMO deal with on a regular basis. These are:
    • Electricity Cables – This type of cable allows the transfers of electricity from one place to another. This includes interconnector cables, which exchange electricity to and from continental Europe and beyond; ensuring the UK has a secure electricity supply. At times of low power generation in one country, extra electricity can be imported from a country exporting their surplus through an interconnector cable. Some international interconnector cables are classed as Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) by the EU Commission and are subject to the TEN-E
    • Telecommunication Cables – This type of cable transfers data from one place to another. Today 97% of the world’s communications are transported via fibre optic cable, and as an island nation, submarine telecoms cables are vital to the UK
    • Renewable Energy Export Cables – This type of cable exports electricity generated by an offshore wind farm or wave/tidal array to a substation on land. This Desk note does not cover this type of cable, as consents for the laying and maintenance of export cables are provided under Development Consent Orders issued by the Planning

To continue reading the rest of this article, please read it in Issue 99 of the SubTel Forum magazine here on page 60.