Hi, my name is Stuart Ellington and I’m the Overseas Area Project Manager for Cyprus and Gibraltar. Today I’ll be blogging about the successful upgrade of RAF Akrotiri’s main electricity supply and intake sub-station, the point at which the electricity supply from Cyprus enters RAF Akrotiri.
The work for this upgrade included installing a high voltage electricity cable that’s 8km long and a new intake sub-station building. The cable has now been handed over to DIO colleagues who are now responsible for operating and maintaining the equipment. The team will be transferring from the old sub-station to the new one in 2019.
The work was carried out by the Cyprus Transmission Supply Operator which also took the opportunity to upgrade equipment at the Kolossi sub-station, the original point from where RAF Akrotiri’s electricity comes. This was essential to help reduce risks of future power failures.
As with all projects, there were challenges! Not least of all a 1950s cobbled road that ran the entire length of the cable trench from Kolossi to RAF Akrotiri! The team worked alongside Ramboll, our Principal Service Provider, to identify design changes to the cable trench and structure to ensure that the trenching and cable process remained on schedule. Our biggest challenge was the theft of the contractor’s traffic lights and the indifferent approach to red lights adopted by the drivers in Cyprus!
To help minimise disruption, the cable trench was completed in 500 metre phrases. Extra care and coordination was taken around the access to secure sites and access points to Akrotiri village. The risks of excavating a single route into RAF Akrotiri were well understood and successfully managed through regular community engagement.
It was important to complete the upgrade to help improve the resilience and reliability of Akrotiri’s aging power supply, help meet the increasing demands of electricity associated with running a modern-day RAF station that supports operations in the Middle East, as well as deliver services that support the military and civilians who live and work here.