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YorPower overcome COVID restrictions to supply and install large generator to help reduce flood risks and protect the environment

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In what was a turbulent 2020 for the Country and a damp squib of a beginning to 2021, YorPower, one of the UK’s leading diesel generator manufacturers and suppliers of power generation equipment based in Leeds, has delivered three major successful installations. In spite of the incredibly difficult operating conditions brought about by Covid-19, YorPower was proud to have been involved in a huge project in particular at Keadby Pumping Station. Based in Scunthorpe, the pumping station aims to reduce flood risk and bring environmental benefits to a 500-kilometre area that covers North Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire.

Keadby Pumping Station is over 80 years old, and became a part of the Environmental Agency’s (EA) £140 million asset repair programme in 2020. The Keadby project alone was worth £35 million. The aging plant room equipment and existing pumps were deemed to be unreliable by the EA and classed as ‘high risk and likely to break down’. A new focus and plan to upgrade the infrastructure was agreed and a strategy to revamp and modernise pumping station became a reality. Ian Thompson the YorPower UK’s Managing Director said, “We secured the project in early 2020 with Galliford Try after competitive tender and working closely with the Black and Veatch design team. It was a significant project and one that we were delighted to win. It is one of the largest single diesel generators we have installed in the UK. In early 2020 we had no idea that Covid and Lockdown would cause such disruption with normal operations and become part of everyday life. It is for that reason, in conjunction with the Galliford Try site team and the EA, that we are particularly proud and pleased to deliver such a project on schedule.”

Despite numerous interruptions and issues with COVID-19, YorPower successfully supplied and installed a huge 3000KVA Cummins Diesel Generator onto a pre piled landing platform that was located just a couple of meters back from the water’s edge. A mains electrical supply delivers power to the site and into the Pumping station, however, should that fail, the generator would start automatically and ensure full backup power be delivered to the station to prevent catastrophic failure.
One of the major challenges at site was manoeuvring the diesel generator and its fuel tank into final position. At a combined weight of 55 tonnes this was no mean feat! Due to the close proximity of residential property, part of the agreement between the EA and the residents was to ensure a very low noise level was achieved even when the generator was running flat out and delivering 2800kW’s of power. The noise level had to be no greater than 60dB(A) at 1m and for such a large genset, that was extremely challenging to achieve. (Equivalent to the hum of an air conditioning unit). A dedicated crane and Contract Lift was part of the YorPower package as well as Road closure and full ground crew to manage the lift and shift operation. A fully functional and automated fuel system was also provided as part of the package, and included re piping fuel from two 60,000 litre bulk tanks to a new 5000 litre day tank. Due to the amount of fuel being stored, a fuel polishing system had to be installed to keep the fuel clean. A new duty standby fuel transfer pump system was designed and installed by YorPower to deliver fuel to the generator.

Jim Riley, YorPower’s Senior Project Manager said, “The design was a real challenge electrically because of the nature of the VFD pump motors and the harmonics creating too many negatives waves man!…To get the noise level down to 60dB for an engine and genset of that size was a real achievement. The space available to locate the genset into position, navigate 55 tonnes over a hedge and over a few trees did make my heart beat a little faster! That coupled with installing a completely new underground fuel delivery system was no easy task, however, we worked closely with our client, Galliford Try and the EA and we delivered a scheme on time and on budget. We even conducted the Client Witness Test during the first National Lockdown in early 2020, which presented challenges on operating safely and within the government guidelines. Needless to say, the client was delighted and if I do say so myself, so are we!”
With the diesel generator now installed, final commissioning now complete, switchover from old to new system is imminent. Keadby Pumping Station prevents flooding and protects 15,000 homes within the 500-kilometre area as well as having environmental benefits for the wildlife and improving the river health in the area. The Environmental Agency have plans to install more pumps over the next year as well.

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