SNF enlists Smith Brothers for prestigious Billingham connection

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Elland based power contractor Smith Brothers has been appointed by world-leading polymer provider SNF, to carry out large-scale electrical engineering works at its first UK-based manufacturing facility.

Having been enlisted as the Independent Connections Provider (ICP) by SNF, high voltage specialist Smith Brothers will be responsible for the 66kV load connection of the 21MVA site to the Northern Powergrid (NPg).

A turnkey programme of works will see the Elland-based contractor carrying out all civil and electrical engineering aspects of the connection assignment, from initial design through to final commissioning.

With the facility set to share its power supply with a nearby generation site via an existing radial circuit, the engineers will be responsible for laying a 3.5km dual 66kV cable route to the Point of Connection (POC) provided by the NPg.

Smith Brothers’ civils team will additionally be tasked with the construction and commissioning of an outdoor 66kV substation, as well as a control room for NPg to house the necessary protection scheme. The outdoor substation will entail the installation of two 72.5kV 1250A 31.5kA dead tank SF6 circuit breakers, 66kV disconnectors, voltage transformers, cable sealing ends, post insulators, supporting steel structures, busbars and connectors.

The engineers will also construct two transformer bunds – each containing a 66/11kV 20MVA transformer – along with two 11kV 4.23ohms 1500A Neutral Earthing Resistors (NERs), post insulators, cable sealing ends and disconnectors for SNF.

Further duties for Smith Brothers will involve the construction of a private substation building and the installation of internal 11kV Unigear 500R switchboard, automatic voltage control panels, transformer protection panels, battery chargers and other associated gear.

Commenting on the scale of the assignment, project manager Iliana Malatra said: “As with any project of this size, there are a number of challenges not only in terms of scale, but also the technical requirements. The outdoor substation has been designed with critical attention to detail, for example, so the construction and commissioning stages will need similar levels of consideration.

“We additionally have tight timescales to meet for the work and energisation. Ensuring that minimal disruption is caused when we connect the facility to the grid is a key priority, and our dedicated team will be working hard to meet all set deadlines with this goal in mind.”

With Smith Brothers’ construction works having commenced in December last year, the Billingham connection assignment is projected to be completed in July 2018.

The wider 10-year construction and regeneration scheme began on the 60-acre Billingham site in 2009.