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Project Overview

Client ABB on behalf of Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission

Project Value £30million

Key Contact Dave Woodcock: Project Director

Expertise Civil Engineering

Sector Energy

Timeline February 2016 to May 2017

Location Scotland

Blackhillock Substation and Spittal Substation

Future proofing the North of Scotland’s electricity network

Project Summary

Part of the ambitious £1.1bn Caithness-Moray project, we applied our expert knowledge in the construction of a new High Voltage, Direct Current (HVDC) 1200/800MW link, which connects the transmission network between Moray and Caithness. Trusted by ABB (ASEA Brown Boveri) to undertake complex civil, structural and building works, an intensive 67-week programme ensured the successful delivery of state-of-the-art HVDC substations in Blackhillock (Moray) and Spittal (Caithness) as key components of the largest investment in the north of Scotland’s electricity network since the hydro development era of the 1950s.

800 tonnes

in weight





GRAHAM's added value solution

Reinforcing our position as a trusted partner within the expanding Energy Sector, the Blackhillock and Spittal Substation construction projects, with a combined value of £30m, are supporting SSE’s broader aims of transferring more power, more efficiently for the people of Scotland. Located in reasonably remote areas, either side of the Moray Firth, the sites are over four hours apart.

Nevertheless, the facilities are almost identical and include a main convertor building with a footprint of 6527m2 and weight of over 800 tonnes. A three-level Control Room, a Spare Parts Building and MVS Building are further elements of each site in addition to a Valve Cooling Area and a 3500m2 External Yard. 200 tonnes of steel were fabricated, galvanised and erected per week and approximately 620m3 of rock and 9,800m3 of muck were excavated and removed.

Demonstrating the scale of the twin sites further, 800m3 of attenuation materials were installed and around 2200m3 of concrete was poured for the convertor substation pad, foundations, cable trenches and transformers.

"The Caithness-Moray project is at the heart of the biggest renewal of the north of Scotland’s electricity network in a generation"

David Gardner Director of Transmission – Scottish and Southern Energy