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High-voltage power supply systems next on HS2’s shopping list

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Britain’s new high-speed railway – HS2 – is continuing its search for major suppliers to the project by launching its procurement competition for high-voltage power supply systems.

The winner of the contract – worth an estimated £523 million – will be responsible for the design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing, commissioning and maintenance of the HV power supply systems, both traction and non-traction.

Approximately 50 traction sub-stations will be needed alongside the line between London and Crewe in order to deliver traction power from the National Grid to the trains. This will be delivered via an overhead electrification system at 25kV AC – provision of the contact system is the subject of a separate HS2 procurement exercise.

The power supply systems contractor will also deliver a dedicated HV non-traction power network that will provide power to stations, shafts, portals, depots and railway systems along the route.

Electricity will come from the national grid, so, as the UK’s power supply transitions to entirely renewable sources, journeys on HS2 will become carbon neutral.

David Poole, HS2.

David Poole, HS2’s procurement and commercial director, said: “The high voltage power supply is a vital part of the HS2 project and the successful bidder will play a crucial role in keeping our network running safely and reliably.

“I look forward to the HS2 team working with the suppliers who come forward and together ensuring that we deliver best quality and value for the project.”

The HV power systems contract will be a single stage procurement, with the successful bidder delivering two separate contracts covering design & build and maintenance services within Phase One and Phase 2a – from London to Crewe, where HS2 services will join the existing west coast main line.

The traction power sub-stations will be located at multidisciplinary railway systems compounds which are to be situated in the open route section of the line. The contractor will assume the role of principal contractor within these compounds. The successful bidder will be expected to work closely with HS2’s other rail systems suppliers to ensure integration of its design and throughout construction, testing and commissioning.

A shortlist is expected to be announced next year, with contract award in 2022.

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