Holtab’s distribution stations have been described as an innovative project in which they are built in a factory environment and supplied fully tested and ready for use. Our collaboration with E.ON Elnät has led to further optimisation of these procedures.
Andreas Thern is Holtab’s sales manager for the Swedish market and is passionate about the concept of prefabricated distribution stations. Four years ago, he began to discuss with E.ON Elnät how they might together optimise the production and reduce the on-site construction of the stations.
“In a historical perspective, these stations were always constructed on site, which is highly intensive in terms of resources and time. But potential risks are also reduced if less work is carried out in the field, as well as the problem of finding construction staff to be sent out on assignment, and delivery times are considerably shortened,” points out Thern.
Over the last two years, Holtab has carried out a number of pilot projects together with E.ON Elnät to validate and test the prefab concept with 24 and 12 kV switchgear and the associated control equipment.
“We built entire installations in our factory in Tingsryd including the buildings in which we installed the switchgear and control equipment. Everything was then wired together, configured and tested to ensure it all worked with E.ON’s overriding system. We then delivered on schedule,” says Thern.
Ola Holmqvist, group manager for project management at E.ON, agrees that the partnership worked really well.
“Holtab has extensive experience and knows its job well. We have worked together with them previously on a number of occasions, mainly with substations. But this was a new project with prefabricated distribution stations, and I am tremendously satisfied with the outcome! We have learnt a lot from this partnership and I really appreciate Holtab’s responsiveness to our requirements.”
The pilot project concerned two 20/10 kV prefabricated distribution stations and one 50/10 kV station. Holmqvist explains:
“Our overriding aim with this project was to test the prefab concept. I am really satisfied and it looks very promising. This is certainly something we will continue to look at.”
Holtab has noticed that most market players compare this concept with the way things used to be done in the days of on-site construction. But the advantage of the prefabricated approach is that it is less expensive and faster. That’s why Holtab appeals not only to grid operators but also to their contractors, which in other words means they can get more done with existing resources. Much of Holtab’s business with end customers is through contractors.
“In the coming years, the market will see a great increase in investment volume. Contractors who traditionally build on site will be fully booked up, so that customers cannot easily carry out all the necessary investments. This is where our prefabricated distribution stations come into the picture with the promise of high quality paired with time savings and financial gains,” notes Thern.
Holtab is quite unique on the market to realise this concept with its products. With 44 years of experience in the sector, and with engineering know-how in mechanics and electrical power in-house, the company feels confident selling these types of advanced prefabricated solutions. It also boasts extensive experience and expertise when it comes to installations.
“My view is that our customers like the way we stick our necks out with this new concept, showing that we can maintain a high rate of production while at the same time satisfying specific customer requirements,” says Thern.
Holmqvist also confirms that E.ON is extremely interested in examining the possibilities of a continuing partnership.
“Absolutely – we will continue to work with prefabricated solutions, and we have learnt a lot in the course of this joint project with Holtab.”