SP Energy Networks, which owns and manages Merseyside’s electricity network, has completed a major £8 million upgrade of underground power cables between St Helens and Rainhill.
It is one of the largest projects of its kind that the company has undertaken in the region over the last 25 years, and it will reinforce electricity supplies for more than 40,000 homes and businesses.
The project involved the complete overhaul of a key section of the town’s electricity network, which has supplied power to the local area for more than 65 years. Over a nine month period approximately 150 engineers and technicians installed a total of 15km of new cables.
In order to minimise disruption and to ensure that electricity supplies were not disrupted during the work, the SP Energy Networks team worked closely with officials from St Helens Council. The project was delivered by Iberdrola Engineering and Construction (IEC), SP Energy Networks’ principal contractor.
Mark Sobczak, Head of 132kV Programmes SP Energy Networks, said: “This was a major upgrade project for the SP Energy Networks team and undertaken with the full support of St Helens Council. Following years of intricate design and planning and nine months of delivery we are pleased that the project has been completed on schedule. The cables have been energised and the electricity network in St Helens has been strengthened for years to come.
“It’s our job to keep the power flowing and the lights on, and upgrade works are a big part of ensuring that happens. We would like to thank the local residents and stakeholders for their support and patience throughout the project, and with the help and support of St Helens Council the disruption was kept to a minimum.”
In addition Danny Gordon, Head of Highways Maintenance for St Helen’s Council commented: “The Council appreciates the significant investment that SP Energy Networks has made in St Helens to reinforce electricity supplies for its residents. Whilst the work was essential and challenging, it was imperative that disruption was kept to an absolute minimum for road users. The Council's highway officers worked closely in collaboration with SP Energy Networks and its contractors to ensure the works were expedited as quickly as possible and to ensure trenches were backfilled first time to a high standard in order to prevent further unnecessary disruption to road users".