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Removing old and installing new power lines in Gloucestershire

A groundbreaking project - the first time a heavy-lift helicopter has been used to erect new power line towers in the UK

  • Length — 7km stretch across prime organically farmed land
  • Old towers — Removed in a single afternoon using a Bell 205 helicopter
  • New towers — 22 erected in 2 days using a Super Puma AS332 C
  • Support teams — Four teams of linesmen deployed to keep pace with the helicopter

Helirig are proud to have worked with Babcock to upgrade a 7km stretch of power lines in rural Gloucestershire. It was the first time such towers in the UK have been erected by helicopter. Since the successful completion of the project, news has spread throughout the power transmission sector of the speed and efficiency of the operation.

There were a number of advantages in using Helirig for this project. Using cranes would have been impossible without constructing costly and time-consuming temporary access. A network of temporary access tracks would have interfered with organic farm land, resulting in the revoking of the local farmer’s certification. Furthermore, cranes would have clogged up narrow local lanes causing huge noise and environmental disruption to local residents.

With a Super Puma AS332 C, Helirig swiftly and efficiently erected 22 L7 type towers in two days. The towers were built from between 2 and 4 pre-assembled modules each weighing up to 3,500kg. Helirig worked with Babcock to design guide systems to enable quick and safe placement of modules on-top of each other.

Helirig has provided a helicopter solution and erected 22 towers in 2 days for our power project in Gloucestershire. Everyone at Babcock has been impressed by the speed and convenience offered by helicopters and I’m sure we will be using them more in the future.

— Adrian Parker, Account Manager DNO, Babcock