Electricity North West awards £ 400million underground construction contracts

Image: North-West Electricity.

Electricity North West has awarded contracts worth £ 400million in its largest underground construction bid.

After a 12-month tendering process, contracts were awarded to Network Plus Services and O’Connor Utilities.

Network Plus Services will cover operations in the northern half of the Electricity North West operating area, which covers both Cumbria and Lancashire where it already operates. O’Conner will take over the south of Exalon, which includes Greater Manchester and surrounding areas.

Both contracts will start on April 1, 2020 and will last for eight years.

Peter Emery, Managing Director of Electricity North West, said: “This is a critical time for the North West power grid. We expect electricity use to increase dramatically as we move towards a carbon-free economy. This means that more electricity flowing through our grid is fed from increasingly renewable sources, powering electric vehicles and homes of the future.

“Finding the right subcontractors at the right price is vital for the network and all of our customers. I look forward to working alongside the two companies as we continue to modernize the region’s electricity grid to keep the Northwest running.

Electricity The North West network covers 44,000 km of underground electric cables. The company is currently working on its update and intends to invest £ 1.9bn between 2015 and 2023.

The company has pledged to switch all electricity supplying its sites to renewable energy in December, with the aim of setting an example in the transition to net zero. In a further effort to improve its network, it has announced that it will deploy voltage control devices at its substations to optimize its network, reduce consumer bills and free up capacity.

It is currently undergoing a change of ownership, after a 50% sale in July, and a second 50% sale to a consortium at the end of 2019. Japanese utility Kansai Electric Power, infrastructure investor Equitix and Hong Kong-based investor CNIC have now taken full control of the company after acquiring the outstanding shares of it.

Bonny J. Streater

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