Leading glassmaker appoints Smith Brothers for grid connection
Power engineering contractor Smith Brothers has been appointed by Europe’s leading flat glass manufacturer Saint-Gobain Glass, to connect its East Riding industrial site to the Northern Powergrid (NPg).
Part of the Saint-Gobain Group – a global designer and producer of construction materials and solutions – Saint-Gobain Glass is the principal supplier of coated glass worldwide, with its UK base in Eggborough, Goole.
With the manufacturing facility currently supplied via a private-wire network, high voltage specialist Smith Brothers has been enlisted to connect it to the local distribution network via a turnkey scheme of works. Acting as the Independent Connection Provider (ICP), Smith Brothers will be responsible for all required electrical and civils elements, from initial design through to final commissioning.
Tasked with replacing the existing connection and carrying out necessary network reinforcements, a 10-strong Smith Brothers team will take care of the construction of two 66kV outdoor substations – one for NPg, the Distribution Network Operator (DNO), and another for Saint-Gobain.
The engineers will additionally carry out the required cabling works to link the NPg compound into a nearby 66kV supply, and feed this into the private substation. Two parallel-fed 20MVA transformers will be installed along the route between the compounds, and Smith Brothers’ duties will also encompass the construction of a control room, 11kV substation and the fitting of all electrical equipment.
Once these elements have been established, the engineers will then take care of commissioning the entire system and integrating it into both the Northern Powergrid and Saint-Gobain Glass networks.
With work having commenced in November 2017, Smith Brothers is set to energise the site in June.
Commenting on the connection, project manager Ryan Smith said: “For any manufacturing facility like this one, minimising operational disruption is a key priority for both the client and our team. There are always significant challenges involved, especially when there’s limited space for the construction of the compounds and buildings, as is the case with the Eggborough assignment.
“But through condensing the site where possible, and tackling obstacles with our trademark efficiency and professionalism, we’re aiming to complete the Saint-Gobain connection with zero system interruptions.”
This is not the first work Smith Brothers has carried out for Saint-Gobain – the electrical engineers additionally take care of high voltage upgrades and maintenance at the site.
The team has also been contracted to carry out works for other household names including Land Rover, Kellogg’s and United Utilities.
Elaborating on the firm’s growing list of blue-chip clients, commercial director Dave Ogden said: “Our reputation as a leading Independent Connection Provider in the UK is steadily growing, and being enlisted by renowned companies like Saint-Gobain Glass is testament to this.
“Our ongoing investment in people, training and equipment means that we’re able to provide a turnkey service that is trusted by leading names nationwide. And with plenty more complex projects on the horizon, we’re set to further cement our position in the market in 2018 and beyond.”