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Balfour Beatty adopts innovative cable laying system

balfour beatty worker

Balfour Beatty has adopted a more efficient, safer method of cable laying.

The firm used its automated ”cable push” system to install a 250m, 33kV cable under a Sheffield woodland as part of a contract for National Grid.

The project involved replacing and upgrading cabling at a National Grid site in Neepsend, Sheffield, to enable easier access for future maintenance work. The cable connects the National Grid to the region’s Northern Powergrid substations.

The terrain and the tight bends the cable was required to travel meant the traditional methods of cable laying were unsuitable, so Balfour Beatty instead implemented its innovative “cable push system”.

Using the system a motorised machine drives the cable along a trench cut in the ground, guided by a series of rollers. Normally operatives use a winch system to manually guide the cables. 

“This innovative technique not only maximises efficiencies in cable laying but improves safety in working practices by automating the process while decreasing cable tension, significantly reducing the risk of damage to the cable,” Balfour Beatty claimed in a statement.

Balfour Beatty head of operations for power transmission and distribution business Andrew Smith said: “Our engineering excellence combined with our commitment to ensuring the continued reliability of the National Grid network was instrumental in implementing this innovative, forward-thinking approach.

“Deploying bespoke resources and tailoring the solution to the environment allowed for a safer delivery of this complex cable-laying project while also providing the most effective and efficient solution for National Grid.”

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