Balfour Beatty has been contracted for the north and south 400kV overhead line project by National Grid, through its overhead line design & build framework.
This is Balfour Beatty’s third major package of works at Hinkley Point C (HPC), following its appointment to the nuclear power station’s electrical works package in a joint venture with NG Bailey in 2015, now part of the MEH joint venture, and the tunnelling and marine works package in 2017.
As part of the National Grid contract, Balfour Beatty will design, supply, install, test and commission a new overhead line spanning 48.4km and crossing through the Mendip Hills in Somerset, where Balfour Beatty is already delivering cable works under a separate contract for National Grid. On completion, the new line will connect HPC with a new substation in Avonmouth, Bristol.
Works are due to start this month, with completion expected in summer 2025.
The project will be the first to use National Grid’s new T-Pylon design, which reduces the need for working at height for the 150-strong workforce expected on the project.
The T-pylon was the winner of an international design competition to look for a 21st century design to carry high voltage overhead lines. The winning design from Bystrup, the Danish architects and engineering company, stands 35 metres high, which is up to athird lower than the traditional steel lattice pylon.
Mark Bullock, chief executive of Balfour Beatty’s rail and utilities business, said: “Our extensive knowledge and unique capability in delivering major complex overhead line schemes, makes us ideally positioned to play a key role in helping to deliver the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK for more than 20 years.
The overhead lines contract is one of a trio of contracts awarded by National Grid for the Hinkley Point C connection scheme, totalling £300m in value. Murphy will be constructing 10.7 km of underground 132kV cables from Nailsea to Portishead and Siemens will be building a new substation at Sandford.
Sue Adam, National Grid’s Hinkley connection project director, said: “The awarding of these contracts marks a major step forward on this vital connection project. It means that we will now be able to gear up to start construction work in earnest. We look forward to working with our new partners to deliver the many different elements of the work involved.
“This will see lots of construction work going on at different times and in different places over the next eight years. We and our newly appointed contractors will do everything we can to minimise impacts wherever possible.”