Laing O’Rourke and Morgan Sindall among names on £9bn National Grid mega-deal

National Grid has appointed five contractors including Laing O’Rourke and Morgan Sindall to deliver £9bn of work on its major upgrade of the electricity network.

Morrison Energy Services, Murphy and a joint venture of Vinci subsidiaries Taylor Woodrow and Omexom complete the construction team for the Great Grid Partnership.

They will begin by delivering nine Accelerated Strategic Transmission Investment (ASTI) schemes stretching from the Thames Estuary to the River Humber and West Wales.

These form a chunk of the overall Great Grid Upgrade designed to create the infrastructure required to connect 50GW of offshore wind power to UK homes and businesses by 2030.

Looking beyond this date and into the next decade, National Grid ultimately expects to spend more than £9bn through its appointed supply chain.

As well as the five contractors named, the Great Grid Partnership will include two engineering specialists, an Aecom-Arup team and WSP, named as design and consenting partners.

The partnership approach aims to speed up the delivery of electricity infrastructure, coordinating the planning and execution of projects and allowing the suppliers and National Grid to pool their resources and skills.

The nine ASTI projects initially awarded to the partners feature hundreds of kilometres of transmission lines between Norwich and Tilbury and between Grimsby and Walpole.

New substations will be built in locations in South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and beyond, while a fresh line will be created from north of Hull into Nottinghamshire.

Other schemes in the bundle will enhance the power network between Chesterfield and Willington; Kent and Essex; and in North West Wales.

Carl Trowell, president of strategic infrastructure at National Grid, said: “All our chosen partners have an established history of successful collaboration in delivering major projects and enabling innovation to thrive.

“By sharing best practice and collaborating across nine of our critical major ASTI infrastructure projects, we will set the gold-standard for future infrastructure projects in terms of driving innovation, shoring up capacity across the skills base, operating responsibly and sustainably and ultimately getting the best value for consumers.”

Stephen Phipson, chief executive of manufacturers’ body Make UK, said investing in energy infrastructure was “critical” as the UK looked to decarbonise its electricity supply.

“This partnership is a groundbreaking approach towards boosting the UK’s supply chain and will bring forward innovative and collaborative ways of working towards a greener and upgraded network,” he added. “Industry stands ready to provide the skills and technologies to make this investment transformational.”

Kate Hall, enterprise director for the Aecom-Arup team, said: “Our joint expertise in design, engineering, environmental assessments and stakeholder engagement means we have a critical role to play delivering infrastructure that facilitates the UK’s transition to net zero, enables a move away from fossil fuels and tackles climate change.”

National Grid fired the starting gun 12 months ago on the procurement of the contractors for the Great Grid Upgrade Partnership, describing the initial work as worth about £4.5bn.

Total contract value was at this stage listed as £9.3bn, which covered the extra network projects needed to hit net zero by 2050.

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