"Innovation is at the heart of the success of the project so far, we’ve applied new ways of thinking to engineer a solution that delivers tangible results"
John Brooks, General Manager - Operations North, Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions
Much of the electrical network infrastructure in use throughout the UK has reached the end of its life, jeopardising service resilience and requiring extensive and costly maintenance. Lodge Road substation in London required significant refurbishment and Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions was awarded the £10 million contract for the design and installation of 12km of 400kV/66kV circuits, delivering a complete end to end solution for five 66kV double circuits, with work starting in 2006.
With limited access to the substation sites, detailed logistical planning was required, and the challenge for Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions was to find a way of pulling 12km of cable, weighing 30kg per metre, through intricate tunnels. The solution was to use Balfour Beatty’s own motorised cable rollers innovation, designed to ease cable installation in restricted spaces, resulting in greater efficiency and reduced manpower; which in turn reduces time lost to injury.
The project also required the removal of two existing oil filled cables from within congested tunnels, replacing them with XLPE cables. This required unique measures to avoid oil spillages during decommissioning, as the existing tunnels are close to sensitive environmental areas. During the refurbishment works, the site generated great interest, and in July 2008 was visited by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The refurbishment of Lodge Road substation has ensured that the vital electricity supply essential to modern life will continue for years to come for residents and businesses in the South East.
Key facts and figures
Length of the cable pull
Value of the contract
Case studies in this sector
Renewing, upgrading and extending overhead line and underground cabling networks across the East of England.
Ensuring the ongoing security and reliability of London’s electricity supply and providing a step change in cable installation technology.
The Woodhead Cable Tunnel forms an important strategic link in the UK’s electricity network.