Cable cleat manufacturer, Ellis, has secured a £1.5m order for its Centaur cable saddles and accessories to secure high voltage cables in National Grid’s London Power Tunnels project.

The project will help ensure Londoners continue to enjoy safe and reliable electricity supplies. When complete there will be over 30km of tunnels carrying high voltage cables between substations in Wimbledon, Hackney, Willesden and St John’s Wood.

Ellis’ Centaur cable saddles, which were developed specifically for use with high voltage cables, were specified by Südkabel, the German manufacturers of the cables being installed in the National Grid tunnels. The order was secured on the back of recent work for National Grid and the fact Ellis was able to prove the suitability and safety of its Centaur product for the project’s specification.

Richard Shaw, managing director of Ellis, said, “This order has given us dual cause for celebration. Firstly, it’s the largest the company has ever won and secondly it demonstrates why we place so much emphasis on research and development.”

Back in 2008 Ellis launched Centaur, a heavy duty extruded aluminium saddle cleat that had been designed and developed in-house in response to a serious safety issue surrounding the restraint of high voltage cables up to 400kV with a diameter range of 100-160mm.

“At the time neither the British nor European Standards took into account cleats on cables of this size,” explained Shaw. “This meant those specifying for such jobs were very much in the hands of the manufacturers, who in most cases simply provided warranties for their products.

“The problem with this was that none of the products available had been short circuit tested, and so the warranties were based purely on calculations and mechanical tests. As such there was no proof the saddle cleats being used would withstand the most testing elements of the job they’d been bought for.”