Manchester Airport 33kV diversion

Manchester Airport 33kV diversion

In January 2018 Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the biggest UK owned airport operator, approached us with a request to carry out diversions on two underground 33kv cables as part of their £1 billion airport transformation programme.


From L-R: Herman Schurink, Stephen Ingham, David Green, Richard Dodd, Mark Williamson, Des Donnelly, David Oldfield, Alan Fowler, Jonathan Eastwood.

Since the programme got under way a year ago, the airport’s skyline has changed dramatically due to the expansion, development and renovation of Terminal’s 2 and 3.  It's one of the biggest construction programmes in the North of England with currently 1,200 people working on site.

As part of this redevelopment, Manchester Airports Group (MAG) approached us with a request to divert the two 33kV gas circuits supply to Manchester primary substation. This work has enabled BAM Construction to build a multi storey car park and new road in the vicinity of Terminal’s 1 and 3.

Herman Schurink, head of project delivery at Manchester Airporst Group, explains, “One of the enablers for MAG’s next multi story car park project was the need to divert one of the main high voltage supplies to Manchester Airport. MAG Engineering Services worked closely with Electricity North West to deliver the work within a heavily constrained timescale and in one of the busiest parts of the airport estate.

This involved MAG, BAM Construction and Electricity North West working collaboratively to ensure the safe guarding of one of the main electrical supplies to the Airport whilst not affecting access to the estate for our customers, staff, service providers and emergency services. This high voltage diversion ensures the success of the next phase of Manchester Airports car park strategy, as well as safeguarding a key part of the airport infrastructure”.

Photo: BAM construction

David Green, diversions project manager for Electricity North West, said, “As the diversions were seen as programme critical to MAG, we worked closely with our principal contractor Excalon to ensure milestone dates were met and that the daily logistics around the airport were not compromised. A number of stakeholders including car park companies, hotels and buses were consulted prior to commencement in order to ensure minimal disruption. Our programme of work has been adjusted on a number of occasions to accommodate the busy holiday periods, complex logistics of the airport and other construction works taking place at the same time.

During initial meetings with MAG and their design team, the route of our diversion had the potential to affect a number of key stakeholders. Close coordination with the stakeholders was critical to delivering the project with minimal impact to their daily routines. There are also a number of other construction projects around the airport grounds running concurrently with ours which have required close coordination to ensure we do not impact on their works. We have shown our adaptability throughout by phasing our work to accommodate other projects.

Some sections of the route were on private land and therefore new easements were required. Our estates and wayleaves department, lead by Chris Sharples, worked in tandem with MAG and Manchester City Council’s legal teams to ensure that the necessary consents were achieved in line with the programme dates. Also, with the 33kV outage being in November our outage planning department, Richard Moulton and Mark Woods, have been heavily involved ensuring the works can occur during the winter months".


                                        A number of proposals were suggested for the new cable route. We finalised the above
                                           route which utilised a new road that is currently being built by BAM construction.


              From L-R: Herman Schurink, Alan Fowler, David Green, Mark Williamson, Des Donnelly, Richard Dodd, David Oldfield, Craig Halewood.

In November 2018, Mark Williamson, director of energy solutions at Electricity North West, and Des Donnelly, director of Excalon, met on site with Herman Schurink, head of project delivery at MAG, Richard Dodd, senior project manager at MAG, and David Oldfield, project manager at BAM to discuss our work on the project. Mark Williamson said, “The representatives from the airport and BAM have been delighted with the progress we have made, and the way in which we have fitted our works in with all the construction projects around the airport to minimise disruption to passengers and commuters. So it’s been a great success thanks to everyone who’s been involved. It’s a real testament to the work we do and how successful we can be when we work together with our partners".


              Mark Williamson, director of energy solutions at Electricity North West, met on site with Herman Schurink, head of project delivery at
              Manchester Airports Group.