National Grid names partners for Great Grid Partnership

Image: National Grid

A new supply chain model announced by National Grid has named seven companies which will form the Great Grid Partnership. 

The partnership, which will initially focus on the network design and construction work required by the end of the decade for nine major infrastructure projects across England and Wales, forms part of a £9bn supply chain framework which will also support infrastructure projects beyond 2030. 

It will support supply chain capacity and foster collaboration across best practice and skills, delivering benefits for consumers and the wider UK economy. 

The seven partners will support the delivery of an initial nine Accelerated Strategic Transmission Investment (ASTI) projects.

The ASTI projects form a key part of The Great Grid Upgrade, which is building the significant new electricity network infrastructure required to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels by connecting 50GW of offshore wind by 2030.  

The new partnership is made up for two design and consenting service partners AECOM Arup JV and WSP and five construction partners - Laing O’Rourke; Morgan Sindall Infrastructure; Morrison Energy Services; Murphy and Omexom / Taylor Woodrow (OTW). 

The partnership aims to coordinate the planning and execution of projects, allowing each supplier and National Grid to pool their resources, skills, insights, and experience to deliver faster and more economically – driving value for money and benefits for both consumers and local communities.  

By creating long-term strategic contractual relationships, partners will work collectively as an enterprise to drive value and innovation and secure delivery. 

Once established, National Grid says the “pioneering model” will also deliver significant opportunities and benefits beyond the initial ASTI framework. 

The partnership comes as the demand for products, services and skills continues to rise on a global scale as countries ramp up investment in the energy transition.

Carl Trowell, president, strategic infrastructure at National Grid, said the announcement was another “significant and exciting milestone” in the delivery of The Great Grid Upgrade – the largest overhaul of the electricity grid in decades. 

He added: “The scale and pace of this upgrade requires us to unite as an industry and to think and act differently.  

“This Great Grid Partnership is a ground-breaking initiative from National Grid that places our supply chain partners at the heart of our infrastructure upgrade programme. 

“All our chosen partners have an established history of successful collaboration in delivering major projects and enabling innovation to thrive. 

“By sharing best practice and collaborating across nine of our critical major ASTI infrastructure projects, we will set the gold-standard for future infrastructure projects in terms of driving innovation, shoring up capacity across the skills base, operating responsibly and sustainably and ultimately in getting the best value for consumers.” 

The collaborative initiative has been welcomed by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering Group (ACE).

Chief executive Kate Jennings said: “The Great Grid Upgrade partnership is an exciting announcement all-round for our members and society at large. 

“Bringing new jobs and pushing forward the decarbonisation of energy infrastructure agenda, will help to deliver sustainable growth in the UK. 

“Congratulations to our members selected on the partnership and to National Grid for this shrewd investment in the UK’s journey to net zero.”

The nine ASTI projects are: 

  • Norwich to Tilbury North
  • Norwich to Tilbury South 
  • North Humber to High Marnham 
  • Grimsby to Walpole 
  • Chesterfield to Willington
  • Brinsworth to High Marnham 
  • Tilbury to Grain and Tilbury to Kingsnorth
  • Pentir to Trawsfynydd (cable replacement)
  • Pentir to Trawsfynydd (second circuit)
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