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Construction firm awarded key contract

National Grid has awarded engineering-led construction firm Burns & McDonnell a £14 million engineer-procure-construct (EPC) contract for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of a 400-kV GIS substation.

The two-year project, located in Yaxley, Suffolk, will facilitate the connection of a newly-constructed, gas-fired electricity generating plant by Progress Power.

This is the first major EPC contract win for Burns & McDonnell in the UK, cementing its leading market position and rapid growth since it established its European presence in Birmingham in 2017. 

Burns & McDonnell was selected to be part of National Grid’s new RIIO T2 EPC Construction Framework for Substations in February 2021. The framework, which will last a minimum of five years, is supporting National Grid’s investment in the U.K.’s electricity transmission infrastructure as part of the country’s transition to net zero.

This investment will see that  the grid is prepared for greater adoption of electric vehicles and the connection of significantly more renewable energy sources, including offshore wind as part of the government’s “Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution” and recently published “Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener.”

The firm has also been awarded two further projects under the National Grid RIIO T2 Mechanical and Electrical Installation Framework, a second framework awarded to Burns & McDonnell earlier this year. These projects will involve critical asset replacements at substation sites in inner London and Dartford, Kent.

Jonathan Chapman, UK managing director at Burns & McDonnell, said: “This is a significant moment for Burns & McDonnell as we establish a leading position in the UK energy market. The project in Yaxley is a critical component in National Grid’s strategic framework for ensuring  this country’s electrical infrastructure is prepared for the energy transition and meeting the Government’s 2035 net zero transmission system commitment. Burns & McDonnell is hugely proud to be playing a part in that mission.

“When we were looking for a location outside of the US to invest, we could see the UK offered a leading edge, particularly in its vision for a low-carbon future. We’re now seeing this come to fruition.

“Being selected from a strong field to deliver this project is testament to the hard work and experience of our fantastic team. We’re all looking forward to working hand-in-hand with National Grid to see the project delivered.”

Burns & McDonnell has been operating in the US for over 120 years, and since launching in the UK has more than tripled the size of its team. It established a new business practice focusing on mission-critical projects in 2020 and opened an office in London in 2021.

The business works extensively with National Grid in the US, where the engineering firm is headquartered. This new project cements that relationship in the UK and makes Burns & McDonnell a true global partner to National Grid.