Maritime Electric is starting repairs to fix leaks in one of its transmission cables between P.E.I. and New Brunswick.
So far the company has completed repairs to one of two leaks in the cables that bring electricity from the mainland to the Island.
Crews worked over the weekend to fix a portion of the cable above the water on the New Brunswick side of the Confederation Bridge. John Gaudet, vice-president of operations and engineering for Maritime Electric, said a barge and tugboat will work on the marine portion of the repairs starting Sunday.
"The nature of the leak was found to be a pinhole in the lead sheathing of the cable which allowed oil to be released. Now that is back in service and we are now focusing on the leak that is in the Strait. We expect to be out on the water lifting the cable in the next few days... but the repairs can take days," he said.
"We are going to have to splice in a section of cable to replace the leaking section, and there will be two splices that need to go in."
Marine Electric announced in March it had found a small leak in the underwater portion of its cable. Then in June the company noticed a second oil leak, but that time the problem spot was located on land.
Gaudet said the estimated cost of the land-based repairs is about $1 million and the marine portion cost is estimated to be about $4 million.
The P.E.I. government has been lobbying Ottawa for financial assistance to build a third cable to the mainland, at an estimated cost of $90 million. The existing cables are 34 years old, and have an expected life span of 40 to 50 years.