Subsea Cable Installation & Trenching Operations




HKA was engaged to provide an expert opinion for a project which involved the installation of submarine power cables and auxiliary cables along several discrete cable routes between Singapore and Malaysia, crossing the Johor Strait shipping navigation channel.
A dispute had evolved between the contractor and the subcontractor who had been contracted to perform, amongst other things, the marine surveys works, cable route design, trenching works, cable laying and burial works for the installation of power cables.

What we did

We investigated the cost increase and delay aspects of the project relating to the trenching and cable installation. To support the cost investigations, we carried out a detailed independent technical analysis of the trenching work and installation work performed by the Subcontractor.

This comprised of:

  • Establishing the quantum of the trenching operations planned and achieved by the Subcontractor for the proposed cables routes.
  • Identifying the causation of the Subcontractor abandoning the project.
  • Assessing the scope of work performed by alternative contractors to complete the outstanding work.

This involved a review of the survey reports, geological assessment reports, geophysical (i.e. seismic) techniques, geotechnical samples, and an assessment of the trenching operations and burying tools.

We also assessed the trenching timeline and chronology of events and performed a review of the Cable Installation reports and plans. This allowed us to identify all causes of delay, and these were presented in a Gannt chart for clearer visibility and understanding.


HKA has provided the technical reports and expert witness analysis to the legal team, and we are currently awaiting the next stage of developments.

Project Details
  • Client
  • Year
  • Value
    US$19 million
  • Services
    Forensic Engineering, Architectural and Technical, Expert, Engineering and Construction Quantum, Delay and Disruption Analysis
  • Sectors
    Construction and Engineering, Power and Utilities




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