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Drax Power Station

The Project

As a result of a recent HSE surveillance audit at the Drax Power Station, Blackburn site, the existing Gas Pressure Reducing Station was identified as non-compliant with current IGEM/TD/13 Edition 2 standards due to combined relief ventilation configuration.

The project comprised the installation of redesigned ventilation system to the Gas Pressure Reducing Station to bring the site in line with current standards and compliant with British and European legislation.

Working closely with the end user (Drax Generation Enterprise), Sonae (UK) were appointed as Principal Contractor to carry out the Ventilation Modification works associated with Gas Pressure Reducing Skid relief ventilation upgrade.

Ventilation Modifications
The installation currently comprises one common 2” ventilation header pipework that accepts each of the Gas Reducing skid relief vent lines.  The redesign of the ventilation system included a number of individual small bore vents to be installed for system of similar duty.

Individual small bore ventilation lines shall vent to atmosphere at high level via vertical ladder rack support system from the Gas Pressure Reducing skid.

All Swagelok tube and fittings were installed by Instrument Pipefitter competent installer with appropriate Swagelok tube fitting installation training records.

All small bore tube and fittings including isolation valves were supplied and installed in accordance with the design hook up drawings and datasheets. All material certificates were retained and included within the handover documentation.
Ventilation pipework was secured by proprietary tube clamps and evenly spaced to prevent any deflection or sagging.

Pressure Testing
All ventilation pipework installed was subject to hydrostatic pressure testing for strength and leaks upon completion of the installation in order to validate that the equipment will operate under desired conditions once returned to service.

Test Records and material certificates were issued upon completion prior to commissioning by site operations in accordance with Drax standard procedures.

Health & Safety
All works were carried out under a controlled permit to work (PTW) in accordance with Drax Power site safety rules and procedures.
Competent person trained in accordance with Drax Power site rules and registered on Competent Person database was in attendance for the duration of all work activity under the contract scope.

All working at height undertaken via 16m Diesel Articulating Boom.  Operator IPAF trained as a minimum requirement.

The works were delivered to the satisfaction of the Drax Power site management personnel  in accordance with the key delivery dates specified within the accepted programme during the shutdown period.

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HYDEPLOY 2 Compound Build

HyDeploy is a demonstration project funded by OFGEM, Cadent Gas and Northern Gas Networks to establish the feasibility of supplementing Natural Gas supplies with hydrogen to reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

To achieve this reduction, a consortium formed of Cadent Gas, Northern Gas Networks, the HSE Science and Research Centre, ITM power, progressive energy and keel university have worked together to study the feasibility of injection of up to 20% mol/mol hydrogen into the natural gas supply and into UK households within the north of England region.
Sonae (UK) were appointed Principal Contractor and were responsible for the EC&I, mechanical and civil works associated with the plant.

Works included the installation of new Hydrogen Buffer Tank, Grid Entry Unit (GEU), new Fire & Gas sxstem, LV distribution, new Telemetry system and GPRS communications, new site lighting and new pressure and tempertaure monitoring instrumentation.

Works were coordinated with other vendor work packages to ensure the delivery of the project to client specified timescales.

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Brenda Road

The Project

As a result of the Asset Health Survey Programme carried out by Northern Gas Networks under the RIIO price control period, it was identified that the existing plant and equipment at Brenda Road site was obsolete, approaching end of service life and in need of replacement including the installation of a new electric pre-heat system.

The project comprised installation of new Inlet Filters, new Electric Heat Exchangers, new 19 to 2bar regulators, new standby generator, new 3 phase power supply and installation of new E&I building to bring the site in line with current Northern Gas Networks standards and compliant with British and European legislation.

The complete site rebuild works were carried out during a shutdown period with key milestone dates to ensure the site was fully operational prior to the winter period.

Appointed as subcontractor to Darke Engineering, key deliverables were achieved to the satisfaction of the end user (Northern Gas Networks) within the programme key date deadlines.

E&I Kiosk Build

A new E&I kiosk was fitted out and pre-wired within the workshop of our Sunderland premises.  The kiosk comprised all new site switchgear and distribution, lighting and small power, new 1:1 Isolation Transformer, Free issue Generator Auto Changeover Panel and Bypass Panels, Free Issue ExHeat Heater Control Panels.

In addition, new lighting control panel and RTU control panels were manufactured within the workshop and installed within the E&I kiosk prior to shipment to site.


The site electrical installation included the installation of new site lighting, final circuit cabling to new Electric Heaters, incoming generator supply cabling and sub-main cabling from the E&I kiosk to the containerised Generator Set lighting and small power distribution board.


The site instrumentation upgrade involved full decommissioning and demolition of the existing installation. Installation and commissioning of all new remote telemetered and site instrumentation monitoring and control equipment comprising new inlet and outlet and filter differential pressure monitoring equipment, ultrasonic flow meter, inline electric heater monitoring and control equipment, generator alarms, pneumatic actuated slam shut alarms and site intruder alarm system. The installation consisted of safe area, Exd and intrinsically safe instrumentation connected to a Pepperl & Fuchs LB barrier system and propriety PLC telemetry unit.

DSEAR Inspection

All ATEX certified equipment supplied and installed under the contract scope was subject to detailed inspection in accordance with DSEAR Regulations BS EN 60079-17.


SONAE were responsible for supplying both the NRO documentation and competent persons to control and execute the changeover in line with the networks SCO 5 requirements.

Provision of SCO 4&5 competent persons to carry out the end to end checks and wet commissioning of the complete E&I installation under a controlled NRO procedure.


Test Records and red-line marked as-built drawings were produced and submitted at key stages as identified by Northern Gas Networks for pre-commissioning purposes in accordance with management procedure NGN/PM/RE/18.

Databook records were compiled in accordance with MPTF-001 Databook Framework document.

All final handover records were submitted to the Northern Gas Networks in both electronic format via A-site media document control system and hard copy format.

Health & Safety

Sonae (UK) carried out the works as sub-contractor to Darke Engineering (MWC).  All works co-ordinated with site management and Northern Gas Networks operations personnel on a daily basis.

All works were carried out under a controlled PTW in accordance with Northern Gas Networks SCO (Safe Control of Operations) management procedures.


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