National Grid’s ‘T-Pylons’ to be made in the UK

Mabey Bridge, a UK manufacturer of tubular structures, has been awarded the first contract to deliver supporting structures for National Grid's new generation of 'T-Pylons', which is smaller than the traditional lattice pylons.

The contract is for a test line of six pylons at National Grid’s Eakring Training Academy, the first time the T-Pylons will be seen on the British landscape.

The new electricity pylon designs mark a departure from the traditional steel-lattice structures that currently dot the British countryside, according to Mabey.

Copenhagen-based engineering design practice Bystrup won an international competition, organised by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Royal Institute of British Architects and National Grid, to design the new pylons.

The new design is a single pole and T-shaped cross arms which hold the wires, otherwise known as conductors in a diamond shape. The layout means the pylon can stand at a height of just 35 metres, which is 10 to 15 metres shorter than traditional lattice towers.

Mabey Bridge Energy & Marine managing director Mark Coia said: “We are extremely proud to manufacture these exciting new electricity pylon designs for National Grid.

“Mabey Bridge helped construct the traditional lattice structures when Britain’s electricity grid was first connected during the last century, and this order confirms our world leading manufacturing processes to help meet the needs of 21st energy infrastructure.

“We look forward to working with National Grid over the coming years as the prototype of the T-Pylon design is developed further to support Britain’s electricity grid.”

National Grid Electricity Transmission Asset Management director David Wright said: “The competition was held to find a design which would meet all our safety and reliability criteria and belong to the 21st century.

“The test line at Eakring will allow us to fully rehearse how we might construct and maintain the T-pylon when in use and this contract with Mabey Bridge marks the start of that journey.”

Liz Gyekye

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