The National Grid and its contractors Murphy Eltel Joint Venture have finished building the new 20km high voltage electricity line between Richborough and Canterbury to connect the Nemo Link, into the UK’s electricity transmission system. The new line, consisting of 60 new pylons is the first to be built in Kent for 25 years.
A total of 260km of high voltage cables have now been placed on the pylons and have been tested, paving the way for the final testing and commissioning of the Nemo Link interconnector, which will allow electricity to flow both ways between the UK and Europe. The Richborough Connection was necessary as there is no high voltage transmission network in the Richborough area to carry electricity from the interconnector.
The construction work, carried out by 250 skilled workers at the peak of operations involved more than 6,000 crane lifts to put the new pylons into place for a route that crosses eight roads, three rivers and three rail lines in its journey across the county.
Graham Dolamore, Project Director for National Grid said: “The completion of the Richborough Project is a significant milestone in the programme for these two projects which will allow power to flow between Britain and Belgium early next year, providing security of supply and greater opportunities for the UK to trade with wider European energy markets.
“I’m proud to have been a part of this project and of the fact that we’ve worked closely with landowners and communities to get the connection built on time and with minimal disruption. It is another demonstration of the crucial role National Grid plays in making sure people across Kent and far beyond have the energy they need, when they need it.”
Shane Jestin, Murphy Eltel Construction Director said: “It has been a tough but successful job all round, thanks to the hard work of all those involved. We’ve carried out more than 6,000 lifts and managed to hit challenging project deadlines thanks to a mix of thorough planning and excellent delivery.”
More than 750,000 working hours were spent building the new overhead line. In addition, works were also carried out at Canterbury North substation and the new Richborough substation with both substations extended and equipment either installed or upgraded. This work was carried out by ABB and Siemens. Some small-scale works will be carried out over the coming months in preparation for the removal of UK Power Network’s overhead lines in 2020.