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The Lovedean Substation Transformer on the road from Portsmouth International Port to the Lovedean National Grid Substation. Photographs – Collett & Sons Ltd.
Date 29 November 2018
The month of August saw the Collett Projects and Heavy Lift Teams complete the second of their National Grid Super Grid Transformer projects in a three week period. This time the Team, fresh from delivering the Cellarhead Substation, hotfooted it to Portsmouth.
As part of a substation upgrade programme to supply homes, hospitals, schools and businesses in the area, Collett were appointed to deliver the 169 Tonne Super Grid Transformer from Portsmouth International Port to Lovedean Substation.
This project once again involved their Projects and Heavy Lift Teams, who undertook all the pre-planning works, the discharging of the Super Grid Transformer from the vessel at Portsmouth International Port right through to final delivery at the Lovedean National Grid Substation. As with Cellarhead, this also included offload and install on site by their Heavy Lift Team utilising their specialist hydraulic jacking and skidding equipment.
The in-depth preparation for this project also required the team to undertake a detailed swept path analysis reports of the route to identify pinch-points where the route would need modification to allow the 66m long, 5.3m wide loaded girder bridge to safely complete its journey. This was particularly evident at the beginning of the route throughout the residential areas of Twyford Avenue and Northern Parade. Across the entire route and with reference to these areas, the team liaised closely with local councils and police to implement parking restrictions ensuring access and egress of the girder bridge convoy. With the timescale necessitating a Sunday delivery, the responsibility to minimise public disruption also entailed extensive media coverage in the area ahead of the project, this allowed Collett to safeguard public awareness of the pre-designated route and any potential delays which may occur as a result.
With the team mobilised to Portsmouth International Port and the Super Grid Transformer discharged from the vessel and loaded it securely to their specialist Scheuerle girder bridge, the 169 Tonne cargo began its 12 mile journey to the substation.
Due to the media coverage of the project and the publicised route, at each stage of the move they were greeted by both media representatives and members of the public keen to see the transport in progress. Across Portsmouth, Cosham, Havant, Purbrook, Waterlooville and Horndean the team travelled in convoy and under police escort. As with the previous Cellarhead project, two ‘end-change’ operations had to be completed along the route effectively flipping the combination 180 degrees to allow for onward transport, arriving safely at the Lovedean National Grid Substation early that afternoon.
Having undertaken meticulous calculations to simulate the forces and pressure applied to the skid track during the skidding process the Collett Heavy Lift Team began the final positioning of the cargo. Not a straight forward process as the restrictions on site would not allow the team to skid the transformer directly to its designated plinth. Due to these restrictions the Collett Team designed and implemented a multi-directional system to skid the Super Grid Transformer over the bund wall onto a steel platform. Once situated on the platform the hydraulic skidding system was then repositioned at a 90-degree angle allowing them to complete the positioning. Executing this complicated procedure, which was purpose designed and engineered by Collett, allowed them to gradually manoeuvre the cargo to its designated siting.
Not just a case of delivering the 169 Tonne cargo, once the girder bridge and jacking and skidding operations were complete and the Super Grid Transformer was successfully positioned, they turned to the 10 40ft containers of ancillaries required for the project. With each container arriving at Southampton, Collett assumed full responsibility for all cargo, delivering complete transport logistics, including de-vanning and storage facilities, to ensure the safe and timely delivery of all the necessary ancillaries to the National Grid Site.
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