National Grid awards Mabey Bridge T-pylon prototype contract

Posted on 26 Aug 2014 by The Manufacturer

In a vote of confidence for British manufacturing, the manufacturer of tubular structures, Mabey Bridge, has been awarded the first contract to deliver supporting structures for National Grid’s revolutionary new generation of ‘T-Pylons’.

The contract is for a test line of six pylons at National Grid’s Eakring Training Academy, the first time the T-Pylons will be seen on the British landscape. The new electricity pylon designs mark a departure from the traditional lattice structures that currently dot the British countryside.

The designs for the new pylons were decided as part of an international competition organised by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Royal Institute of British Architects and National Grid. The competition received 250 designs from across the world, and was eventually won by Copenhagen-based engineering design practice Bystrup. The new design is a single pole and T-shaped cross arms which hold the wires, otherwise known as conductors in a diamond shape. The layout means the pylon can stand at a height of just 35 metres, which is 10 to 15 metres shorter than traditional lattice towers.

Mark Coia, managing director of Mabey Bridge Energy & Marine said: “We are extremely proud to manufacture these exciting new electricity pylon designs for National Grid. Mabey Bridge helped construct the traditional lattice structures when Britain’s electricity grid was first connected during the last century, and this order confirms our world leading manufacturing processes to help meet the needs of 21st energy infrastructure.

“We look forward to working with National Grid over the coming years as the prototype of the T-Pylon design is developed further to support Britain’s electricity grid”.

David Wright, director of Electricity Transmission Asset Management for National Grid, said: “The competition was held to find a design which would meet all our safety and reliability criteria and belong to the 21st Century. The test line at Eakring will allow us to fully rehearse how we might construct and maintain the T-pylon when in use and this contract with Mabey Bridge marks the start of that journey.”