SCX, the Sheffield, UK-based lifting equipment and materials handling system specialist, has completed one of its largest crane refurbishment contracts to date at three hydroelectric plants in the UK.

Awarded to SCX after a competitive tender by power company Scottish & Southern, the contract involved refurbishment of existing overhead cranes in three power stations and the supply of new cranes and hoists as part of an extensive refurbishment programme.

Scottish & Southern has 77 hydroelectric stations and operates a rolling refurbishment programme. For the most recent phase, SCX was selected to carry out overhead crane modernisation at the Invergarry and Striven power stations, plus the Ceannacroc underground station.

‘This was the first major overhaul of the overhead cranes at these sites since they were first installed some 30 years ago,’ said John Bain at Scottish & Southern. ‘SCX completed the refurbishment which included some modernisation of the operating system and the addition of a number of safety features, such as converting them to remote control operation.

‘Timing was crucial with the work on the overhead cranes having to be completed before the main station refurbishment could begin,’ he added. ‘On a daily basis, the cranes are used for standard maintenance operations, but come in for some very heavy use when we periodically strip down the generators and turbines.’

The work carried out by SCX included replacing power and control cables, down shop conductor systems, drive motors, brakes, limit switches and hoist ropes, plus the supply of radio control equipment and associated control panels and resistor banks.

At the same time, SCX supplied and installed new Street Crane hoist units, small overhead cranes and steel work at Invergarry, Cluanie and Quoich hydro stations.