SHE Transmission, the network business for UK-based energy firm SSE, has awarded a £460m living wage contract to engineering firm ABB.

The deal is a part of the Caithness to Moray transmission project, which involves setting up a subsea link connecting Caithness to Moray.

The subsea link will feature more than 100 miles of underground and subsea cable. It will transmit power from renewable sources to the northern parts of Scotland.

Under the deal, ABB will design, engineer, supply and commission a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) system, which will run between converter stations at Spittal in central Caithness and Blackhillock, near Keith, in Moray.

Construction of the link is scheduled to be completed by 2018, SSE said.

The project is a part of an investment programme in power transmission infrastructure to support the transition to lower carbon electricity generation and boost supply security.

SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said: "The new Caithness to Moray contract will make sure hundreds of workers on-site will get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and reflects our commitment to being a responsible employer.

"It is one of several actions SSE is taking to make a difference, including being the first FTSE 100 company to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark."