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Engineering in England: Brexit is additional administrative challenge

Powerspex is working for SBG (Standardkessel baumgarte) in Chester, UK, on the Protos Energy Recovery Facility plant. That does involve a lot more administrative work since the Brexit due to security regulations, notes site manager Peter Wolbers.

The assignment

Powerspex is supplying for client SBG in the main order all instrumentation cabling for a waste incinerator with two incineration lines, including the instruments and related supplies that will generate 49MwH of electricity. It involves five hundred instruments (pressure measurements, differential pressure measurements, temperature measurements, radar level measurements) and that means some 1,500 cables will be pulled. "Which amounts to about 40 kilometers," lists site manager Peter Wolbers. "With another 750 meters of cable run and 5 kilometers of protective pipe. In addition, we are currently working on an additional order for cabling the flue gas cleaning system. That would mean another 15 kilometers of cable, including tracks and cable protection pipe."
All to British Standard and legislation.

Added value

All in all, a lengthy project to which Powerspex devoted considerable time. "As Powerspex, we enjoy working for clients like SBG. They have great projects and we can act as a partner. As Powerspex, we can really add value because we are good at detail engineering, sourcing tools and materials, and supervising and managing construction projects of this size."

Brexit = red tape

Brexit is really noticeable, Wolbers argues. "It's actually a big trap. We notice it especially with the materials. There are a lot more customs regulations since Brexit. More customs clearance has to be done. Brexit equals red tape. Although of course there were plenty of rules before, things were a lot more streamlined back then. We are becoming more and more proficient at it, so by now it does become easier for us. But it takes time and energy and it will continue to do so."

We either work safely or we don't

The safety rules here on site in this project are two levels higher than we are used to, Wolbers states. "Here you need separate employees for all work such as a traffic manager who takes care of supervising transport on site, a lifting operator who is only allowed to do lifting work and a banksman who makes sure the materials get to the site safely and properly."

In addition to working safely, there is a Work Permit System.
This is controlled by SBG's partner, METKA. This requires HSE, lifting, RAMS and many ITPs and this also creates a lot of administrative work.

Year from home

Peter Wolbers and Pascal Simmelink are expected to spend almost a year working in England on this project. Isn't that a very long time?
"I am used to it and so is my home team," states Wolbers. "We do go home regularly. After about a fortnight we are home for a long weekend. If you're used to it, it's manageable though. Here in Chester we rented a house and also bought two bicycles so we can explore the area. Once again we are discovering new surroundings."

Powerspex Chester SBG

The team

When the project is completed next year, there will be a waste incinerator in Chester that will burn non-recyclable waste, generating some 49MwH of electricity.
That will be to the credit of the project team consisting of project leader Bart Koekkoek and engineers Enrico Gossen and Evert Bokkers. Peter Wolbers and Pascal Simmelink are on site and are supported there by the people of Booth Welsh Scotland, the partner in England.