Battersea Shaft Pumping Station

Customer: SMB JV

Site Owner: Thames Water Utilities Ltd

Value: £374,000

Project Scope:  Replacement of a 3.3kV vertical turbine pump and pipework along with new 450 kW variable speed drive with upgraded 3.3kV Switch Rack and new HMI and functional System Integration at Battersea Shaft, a potable water pumping station being part of the London Water Ring Main.

Background:  Battersea Shaft Pumping Station is a 30m deep vertical shaft containing six pumps that supply multiple zones in London. A significant amount of construction and new development is ongoing in the area and a study report showed that in coming years there will be a shortfall in capacity at Battersea Shaft PS during periods of peak demand.

The existing pumps and variable speed drives installed in the late 80s and early 90s will be unable to keep up with the predicted demand for peak times, Thames Water plans to replace all six pumps, one at a time, this being the first, increasing each pump capacity from 30 Ml/day (350 l/s) to 45 Ml/day (520 l/s), amounting to a possible increase of capacity of 90 Ml per day upon completion.

Site Surveys:  FSD were awarded a Professional Services Contract to survey the existing HV Switchgear and LV installation, earthing system, system integration requirements and the mechanical installation, cumulating in an outline design and financial estimate for the client.

Award:  FSD were awarded the M&E fit out contract, for removing and replacing the existing pump along with new discharge pipework and modifications to an existing pump platform.

The electrical works included removing and replacing an old VSD (Variable Speed Drive) with new, and the refurbishment of existing 3.3kV starter cubicle, testing and replacing where necessary 3.3kV cables.  Design & install new LV/control/ Instrument cabling, up-graded earthing and new Fibre Optic/Copper/Ethernet system, with functional design system, interfacing with new HMI and integration with existing remote operating system.

Construction:  The major construction challenge was to limit the outage of the pumps; careful planning and co-ordination was required with all parties. We engaged our key supply chain partners early on in the planning process, mitigating supply chain risk to as low as possible.

As many activities as possible were undertaken prior to outage, our Mechanical division manufactured all the discharge pipework off site, with just in time delivery, and all possible electrical works and functional design requirements were carried out in preparation for outage.

Upon outage, the old pump and pipe work were craned out in sections from inside the 30 metre shaft, whilst working under strict confined space requirements, and the new pump and motor installed, along with the new discharge pipework, bolted and  lowered into position in 3m sections.

A temporary switchroom floor had to be laid to take the weight of the old VSD being removed, striped for spares where possible, and the 3.3kV starter cubicle was removed and sent away for refurbishment.

The next big challenge was the new VSD drive installation, due to the restricted building height for lifting into position, which was overcome with bespoke scaffolding design and I beams.

Summary:  The successful delivery of the project can be attributed to early contractor engagement, careful and realistic delivery times with good co-ordination planning, and the early engagement of key suppliers and subcontractors.

The in-house M&E coordination with daily activity briefings and sharing of worksite and plant, allowing timely key pre-construction activities to be undertaken prior to outage, ultimately enabled a safe construction, and with just in time deliveries on a space-restricted site culminated in minimum outage for the client and reduced risk to London’s potable water supplies.

See also this article in Water Projects Online  Battersea Shaft Case Study