An update from Mick Walls, ABB Site Manager

Mick Walls, ABB Site Manager

“We’re coming to a successful conclusion on the part of the project focussed on laying cable ducting under the A4061 and we’ve already finished the work in the Hirwaun industrial estate. A specialist construction team from Balfour Beatty has been delivering this on ABB’s behalf. And since the industrial estate team has already completed their section, they have now joined their colleagues to help finish the work on the A4061 within the next few weeks, ahead of schedule.

Once complete, the ducting will carry the high-voltage cables that will run 10 km down from the hillside substation, as well as the other substation at Rhigos. ABB is responsible for building and equipping these two new substations.

The civil engineering work at the Rhigos substation is also progressing well. We’ve been constructing the foundation bases and bunds that will hold the switchgear and transformers. This is a major task because the electrical equipment that will be installed is large and heavy and so needs a solid set of foundations. The roof and walls of the control building have been going up too so the site is now really starting to take shape.

ABB has also been working alongside National Grid, which is making changes to its infrastructure in Rhigos to accept power from Pen y Cymoedd.

The new 'tension tower' at Hirwaun Industrial Estate installed by National Grid

The new ‘tension tower’ at Hirwaun Industrial Estate installed by National Grid

Up on the hillside, we’ve established the substation site. We’ve now got site cabins and welfare facilities in place and we’ve been working on the surface water drainage system as well as the groundworks in preparation for the foundations. We’re planning to start pouring concrete for foundations very shortly.

One of the most important elements of the work is to deliver on our promise to hire local people, and currently we have workers from Shield Security, Minster Cleaning and the civils contractor Dawnus.

The fine weather in September helped us make good progress on construction work and so we’re hoping that there won’t be too much rain in October and November as we’re planning to get started on the work needed to create the cable run up the steep slope.”