The mammoth 4.8 metre tall units were transported to the site adjacent to Hinkley Point C power station on 26 March 2022. Each unit weighed in at 121 tonnes – as heavy as an adult blue whale!
National Grid’s series reactors are used as current-limiting reactors to improve the transmission capacity of powerlines. The three that were safely transported to Shurton were manufactured by Siemens in Nuremburg and then brought from Rotterdam Port in the vessel Terra Marique to Combwich Wharf. The final leg of the journey took the series reactors to Shurton substation via local roads on a 53 metre-long transporter, which included a 12-row Goldhofer trailer and pulling unit. The size of the abnormal load meant the transporter could only reach a top speed of 12mph.
National Grid’s contractor, Linxon, started work at Shurton substation in June 2019. The new substation will connect Hinkley Point C onto the electricity network and enable the transmission of low carbon energy to 6 million homes and businesses in the UK. The substation sits within the boundary of the Hinkley Point C site and is expected to be operational later this year. It's one of two brand new substations to be built as part of the Hinkley Connection Project, with the other located at Sandford.
To see the site transformed from the empty, flat patch of land to the critical infrastructure we see today brings a real sense of pride.
Simon Lukins, Project Manager for National Grid, who has been involved in the construction of the substation for the past three years, said: “To see the site transformed from the empty, flat patch of land to the critical infrastructure we see today brings a real sense of pride. The series reactors are one of the final pieces of equipment to be installed and we were delighted to work in partnership with Hinkley Point C to ensure the safe and efficient delivery of the equipment via Combwich Wharf, with minimum impact to the local communities nearby.
“We’re now looking ahead to May when the substation becomes operational, feeding power first into Hinkley Point C before enabling the transmission of low-carbon energy from the power station onto the network once Hinkley Point C is completed and begins generation.”
The mammoth 4.8 metre tall, 121 tonne unit on its way to Shurton substation.
Each unit was transported on a 53 metre long, 12-row Goldhofer trailer and pulling unit, reaching a top speed of 12mph.
Project team taking delivery of the reactors at Shurton substation.