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SSEN names contractors to build infrastructure for £10bn electricity transmission project | New Civil Engineer

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SSEN Transmission has named Balfour Beatty, Siemens-Bam JV and J. Murphy and Sons among its preferred bidders to deliver critical onshore transmission infrastructure across its £10bn electricity transmission network plan.

The programme, known as Pathway to 2030, is an interconnected set of major projects in the north of Scotland that will support the UK’s transition to net zero. It features new high-voltage direct current (HVDC) links and transmission network upgrades that will support the development of offshore wind connections.

The preferred bidders announced this week will support SSEN in delivering all onshore transmission infrastructure across the programme to enable the connection and transportation of homegrown low carbon power around the UK.

Following a competitive procurement process, the preferred bidders have been named as:

  • Balfour Beatty
  • Siemens-Bam JV
  • Murphy & Sons
  • Wood Power Solutions
  • Omexom Morgan Sindall Infrastructure JV
  • Burns & McDonell
  • Morrison Energy Services
  • Linxon
  • IQA
  • NKT

Each of these preferred bidders have different areas of specialty and in conjunction will deliver overhead lines, underground cables and substations required to develop the transmission network in north Scotland by 2030.

SSEN Transmission said that a key consideration in the tender process was “the encouragement of local content”, in which all of the selected partner scored highly. Preferred bidder status means that SSEN is in the final stages of preparing a contract with these partners.

Once the contract award has been completed, SSEN Transmission will provide further details of the plans to deliver jobs and economic growth in the north of Scotland and beyond, supporting the significant local and national economic opportunities that these investments will unlock.

Major projects included in the Pathway to 2030 plan are:

  • Two 2GW subsea high-voltage direct current (HVDC) links from Peterhead to England, both of which will be taken forward as joint ventures with National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET)
  • A 2GW subsea HVDC link from Spittal in Caithness, connecting to Peterhead
  • A 1.8GW subsea HVDC link from Arnish on the Western Isles, connecting to the north of Scotland mainland
  • 400kV onshore reinforcements, between Beauly, Blackhillock, New Deer and Peterhead; between Beauly, Loch Buidhe and Spittal; and between Kintore, Tealing and Westfield
  • Uprating the existing Beauly to Denny line to enable 400kV operation on both circuits
  • A new HVDC Switching Station at Peterhead, which will help reduce the number of HVDC and Convertor Stations required for future HVDC links, reducing costs and minimising community and environmental impacts

SSEN has already announced preferred bidders for some specific projects in its Pathway to 2030 plan. This has seen Hitachi Energy selected as preferred bidder for the Western Isles and Spittal-Peterhead Converter Systems, while NKT has been selected as preferred bidder for the HVDC cables on the same projects.

SSEN Transmission managing director Rob McDonald said: “Our Pathway to 2030 network redevelopment programme will play a huge role in delivering Scotland and the UK’s net zero targets and the selection of this group of preferred bidders for crucial elements of that redevelopment work is a massive step forward in delivering that.

“As we aim to conclude contract negotiations in the coming weeks and months, we look forward to working with each of the selected contractors in the delivery of our Pathway to 2030 projects.

“Not only will this work support the delivery of UK and Scottish Government net zero and energy security targets, but our forthcoming investments will provide significant local and national economic opportunities, helping unleash the economic potential of the north of Scotland.”

Balfour Beatty Power Transmission and Distribution managing director Ian Currie said: “Having worked closely and collaboratively with SSEN Transmission for over 40 years, we are delighted to be contributing to the upgrade of the electricity transmission network through their latest framework.

“As the largest power transmission contractor in the UK, we will utilise our expert capability and extensive experience to play our part in providing secure energy for the surrounding area for the future.”

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