SPIE has secured two framework contracts with Northern Ireland’s national electricity distribution company, Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE). The independent European leader in multi-technical services will assist NIE in the refurbishment of the country’s electrical Distribution and Transmission networks.

The Transmission contract, the first of the two long-term assignments, involves renovation and new build works on Northern Ireland’s high voltage network up to, and including, 275kv, and is expected to finish in early 2019.

The second, Distribution framework contract, requires SPIE to restore and replace distribution wood pole network up to, and including, 33kv. The work will take place between now and February 2018, with the potential for a two-year extension.

NIE is responsible for the electricity infrastructure throughout Northern Ireland. It owns and maintains the wires and utility meters for the entire country and its circa 1,200 employees work around the clock to plan, build, repair and develop Northern Ireland’s electricity network. SPIE will initially supply 40 linesmen to work across both projects with a view to increasing this number to 70 in order to complete the current programme of works.

Jonathan Walsh, contracts manager at NIE, said: “We are delighted to be teaming with SPIE on the new Distribution Overhead Line Contract. We first worked with SPIE in 2009. Since then, our business relationship has gone from strength to strength; they have completed a number of projects with us, from distribution and transmission to assistance with storm damage repairs. That’s why we can be so confident in their ability this time around.”

Mike Snee, managing director at SPIE, commented: “It’s vital to us that we have a strong and progressive relationship with NIE. The electricity distribution industry operates in a regulated environment and as such there are stringent requirements for the service providers to deliver a safe, efficient and customer orientated service to the end user – the general public. SPIE endeavours to meet these requirements head-on and is proud to be participating in this work.

In addition to these projects, there will be the future opportunities for SPIE to pitch for stand-alone green-economy assignments such as wind farm lines.