National Grid talk tunnels

Eryri Visual Impact Provision (VIP) Senior Project Manager Steve Ellison was recently invited to give a lecture to the British Tunnelling Society at their AGM held at the Institute of Civil Engineers head offices in London. 

He was joined on the panel by Steve Woodrow, global head of tunnelling at AECOM and Stephen Assenmacher, head of tunnelling at Hochtief, our lead contractor for the VIP scheme in Eryri. Their presentation focused on providing an update on the status of the Eryri VIP project from the perspective of the client, contractor, and designer. 

Steve Ellison gave an overview of the VIP projects in the UK and the five landscapes which have been identified as being the most impacted by overhead transmission lines, including Eryri National Park. He delved into the technical detail of the plans to restore the landscape in Eryri, and the 3.4km tunnel that will be constructed underneath the Dwyryd Estuary to bury the electricity cables, enabling the removal of 10 pylons. 

The lecture also focused on the community engagement activities that National Grid has been carrying out as the project moved into the first stages of construction, including interactive STEM workshops in local schools where pupils were invited to submit entries to name the tunnel boring machine (TBM) that will create the Dwyryd Estuary tunnel – the competition that gave our TBM its name, Buddug.

Speaking after the lecture, Steve said: “We’re really proud of the work that we have achieved so far on the Eryri VIP project and it’s fantastic to be able to showcase our work to date in delivering this transformational project to such an interested and informed group. We’re all looking ahead to the arrival of our TBM later this year and we look forward to providing an update as we continue our tunnelling work”.