We have an obligation to act responsibly when managing our oil-filled cable assets across the UK, both in service and when decommissioned. We also need to consider their potential impact on grantors, communities and the environment.
We no longer install new oil-filled cables. However, records show we still have more than 1,200km of cable in service across the UK network. The combined estimated oil volume within the cable network equates to around 4.5million litres. Maintaining the integrity of these cables within the network is a continual task, which often requires removing and disposing and then replacing thousands of litres of the oil from within these cables annually.
An all-terrain 17 tonne vehicle with regeneration technology on board, has been developed that has the ability to carry out on- site oil analysis. It has the capability to recycle up to 99% of the oil removed from our cable network during maintenance, fault or decommissioning works. This will minimise the need for oil disposal, waste transfer and any purchase of new cable oil.
The oil regeneration plant can remove all contaminants from the oil and re-condition it without degrading its electrical properties, and without the need to further degasify it. This means we can introduce the regenerated oil directly into a cable system. This will save time and costs, improving efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint and the impact on the environment.