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Pembroke-Swansea Electricity Transmission Line, UK

Joint venture Electricity Alliance West (EAW) comprising Mott MacDonald, AMEC, Babcock and National Grid undertook emergency works on the electricity transmission line between Pembroke and Swansea, Wales to enable it to stay in service for another winter season. Further works were then required to maintain the line, such as replacing 2,150 tonnes of steelwork over 80km. We acted as risk manager.

Power line
Pembroke to Swansea Line Replacement
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Pembroke to Swansea Line Replacement Pembroke to Swansea Line

Key facts

Our risk management services included identifying and evaluating potential threats and opportunities, adopting appropriate treatment strategies and ensuring that these were implemented, managed and communicated effectively. Our team worked with all stakeholders along the route and several internal departments within EAW.

Techniques used include:

  • Gathering data from existing documents.
  • Undertaking interviews with specialists (eg design house, environmentalists).
  • Providing workshops with the project team.
  • Assessing lessons learned from previous schemes.

Risks identified using the methods above were included in the project risk register along with a series of mitigation strategies, the likelihood of occurrence and cost impacts. our consultants also undertook the 'Monte Carlo Analysis' using the 'Oracle Primavera Risk Analysis'.

Challenges

This was the first time that full towers of this type had been replaced to the required extent on a 400kV route, which was also to remain in-situ. If required it was to be returned to the client for full operation in an emergency within seven days for one route and four days for the other.

Due to the integrity of the line, the pre-construction phase was reduced from a typical 18-month period to eight months to meet the delivery milestone. This presented its own challenges including a reduced survey timescale.

Undertaking risk management was key on this project, enabling all areas to be managed effectively throughout the project lifecycle and to super tight timescales. We were instrumental as part of a team in helping EAW overcome a number of hurdles such as:

  • Completing the agreed design in shorter timescales
  • Liaising with National Grid to agree consents and wayleaves to access towers.
  • Managing a reduced timeframe to undertake environmental surveys.
  • Ensuring effective communications with statutory bodies to avoid delays.
  • Limited resource availability and procuring materials within timescales.
  • Releasing funds outside of normal timescales.

Value and benefits

By identifying potential risks early on and applying appropriate and effective treatment strategies, we helped minimise negative impact on the project deliverables. Our experience helped the transmission line go live in 2012 in good shape to continue supplying electricity to south Wales in the long term.

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