As part of its commitment to delivering a safe, secure, and reliable electricity supply, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has awarded OCS a 5-year contract to support the upkeep of all its steel towers across its central southern England distribution area. This initiative forms part of SSEN’s £10 million investment to ensure that its 33kV and 132kV steel towers are in the best possible condition for its 3.1m customers.
A team of OCS specialist colleagues will be responsible for applying new coats of specialist anti-corrosion paint to the towers, which provides protection from the elements and prolongs the working lifespan of this essential infrastructure. All colleagues delivering these works are trained in tower climbing, rescue and Emergency First Aid and, importantly safety from the high voltage electricity system.
This work involves working at height in varying weather conditions, so wind direction and wind speed are monitored and used to manage overspray risks during the works. As well as remote and rural areas the towers can often be in challenging locations.
Technology will play a key role in streamlining on-site works with a bespoke OCS app providing real-time management information, giving teams on the ground live information on sites completed and notifications when each stage of works is ready for quality checks before being marked as fully completed. Real-time progress reports are used by the management team and are also available to the client.
SSEN’s Project Manager, Martin Bailey said: “This is a key project for us over the next six months. The 33kV and 132kV steel towers are the backbone of our network, so it’s crucial that we do all we can to ensure that they’re in the best possible condition, continuing to power homes and businesses across central southern England all year round.”
Barry Creswick, Director of Tower Painting at OCS, said: “The decision by SSEN to select us as a framework partner to support them in maintaining their steel towers network, is testament to the proven skills and expertise of our teams and our market leading position. This is vital work that will ensure these communities can continue to be assured of a safe, secure and reliable supply of electricity and we are proud to be part of it.”
Chris Slingsby, SSEN’s Head of Works Delivery, added: “This £10m programme of works a key part of our commitment to delivering a safe, secure, and reliable power supply for our customers. With electricity playing such an important role in all our daily lives, be that at home, at school or at work, it’s vital that we do all we can to ensure the overhead Line infrastructure is in the best condition possible.”