Small Bore Cable Technology (REQUEST FOR INFORMATION).
UK Power Networks (Operations) Ltd | Published June 30, 2015
50000000, 50800000, 65300000
This is a request for information (RFI) and is not a call for competition.
If you are interested in sending UKPN information relating to this request for information, please review this section and also refer to section II.8 (Additional Information) for further details.
Please note that requesting this information does not bind UKPN to enter into any formal obligation or commitment to future business with any Supplier. The information will be used to understand whether there is merit in investing in trails to inform the decision process for determining future arrangements. This is not a formal quotation exercise and you will not be held to your submission.
Details of the Requirement
UKPN is seeking to trail two alternative innovative methods to the open-cut technique for cable replacement.
Each alternative method will undergo two phases to see whether the techniques can work successfully on our network and the trials will take place within our London area. For each phase, the Supplier shall lay either 33Kv, 66Kv or 132Kv EHV cables. UKPN shall nominate which cable shall be used on each occasion.
The details of the two phases are as follows:
— Phase 1 — Trial on electrically isolated cables (expected to be historic spares that have been electrically isolated for more than 10 years).
The purpose of this phase will be to test the new technology in real ground conditions — in close proximity to other non-UKPN assets and in close proximity to other (inactive) circuits. During this trial other UKPN circuits in close proximity will be closely monitored to confirm the impact of the new technology on them and to identify if risk of damage to adjacent assets can be minimised. In addition, the new circuit being installed will be thoroughly tested to ensure this circuit could be brought into service.
Subject to the success of the first phase will determine whether the Supplier will be offered the opportunity to trail their technique in phase 2.
— Phase 2 — Trial on electrically active power cables.
In this phase the technology will be tested on electrically active cables. These will be cables which have been temporarily isolated due to faults, leaks or ongoing repairs.
Both phases are expected to last approximately 4 months each and any trails that may commence will start in August 2016.
Background of the Requirement
The current accepted UK practice for the replacement of EHV cables is to lay a new cable on a different route to the existing cable. The route will be dug to; (i) expose a trench, (ii) a duct will be laid, and (iii) following reinstatement cables will be pulled through the duct and jointed at sections.
This method represents a very expensive way of replacing cables as the trenching (also known as the open cut method,) is one of the most expensive techniques for laying new utility cables due to the costs relating to road closures, digging, spoil disposal and reinstatement. Deep excavations (typically any excavation over 1.2m in depth) also represent a significant safety hazard due to the combination of risks from collapse of excavation, poor access and egress and risk of the collection of poisonous gases.
There are alternative methods that are being developed to trace the route of the existing cable to allow re-use of the route for new cables. UKPN understand that the alternative techniques to the traditional open cut method may prove financially beneficial to UKPN but would need to firstly prove that the alternative cable replacement technique works for our industry and has a proven track record for safety.
This project is proposed to trial some of these new technologies to confirm they work, and to establish a list of considerations or scenarios in which they would represent significant savings without increasing the level of risk beyond an unacceptable level.
UK Power Networks (UKPN) provides power to a quarter of the UK's population via its electricity distribution networks.
UKPN is committed to:
— Maintaining a safe, secure and sustainable power supply to eight million homes and businesses in London, the South East and the East of England;
— Developing what is already Britain's biggest electricity network — which includes 170 000 kilometres of power lines;
— Strengthening our links with the local communities we serve and building on the skill base of the 5,500 people who work for UKPN across the network including our major bases in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Potters Bar, London, Crawley, Bexleyheath and Maidstone;
— Giving our customers the best possible service and maintaining operational efficiency across our area networks is at the heart of what we do.
Further information about UKPN and UKPN Services, including financial data, can be found at www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk
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UKPN has 3 key business priorities:
— To be an employer of choice;
— To be a respected corporate citizen;
— To be cost efficient. Our focus is to deliver our priorities and to operate in a safe environment.