Richborough Connection Project


Project Sector



Murphy Eltel

A hidden gem

The Nemo Link connects the electricity supplies of Belgium and the UK via high-voltage subsea cables. Gallagher Ltd was appointed to create piling platforms for 60 pylons, running for 22 miles at 500m intervals between Richborough on the east Kent coast and Canterbury. The contract was originally awarded by Carillion Eltel JV; following that company’s demise, the project was administrated by Murphy Eltel.

Our civils contract involved forming multiple site entrances to individual work sites, installing temporary bridge decks and culvert crossings along live water courses, and creating piling platforms, crane hardstandings and structural concrete foundations for the pylons. These were some of the
largest pylons ever installed on UK soil, and the foundation tolerances were extremely fine. Our team’s professionalism ensured all works were completed ‘first time’ with no setting out errors recorded.

Installing the overhead lines presented numerous technical and logistical problems to solve. Providing access to work sites involved handling land ownerships, ecological and geological factors, compounded by fluctuating levels of the numerous watercourses. Once the cables were installed and the original pylons removed, all temporary works had to be removed and the ground reinstated to its original condition.

This was one of the most operationally challenging projects we have ever completed, requiring continuous coordination of multiple tasks spread over a large geographical area. Sadly, the only permanent signs that remain of this epic endeavour are the 240 foundation plinths, which protrude 150mm above ground level.