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2012 is Powering Ahead

The two-year powerlines project has been delivered on time and to budget with the removal of the final overhead electricity pylon from the Olympic Park site, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has announced.
With the removal last month of the final pylon from the Olympic Park, the ODA outlined the economic and legacy benefits the two-year powerlines project has delivered, including:

- more than 1,700 jobs and six major contracts awarded, worth more than £200m in total, for the tunnelling, cabling and pylon removal phases of the project;
- pylons up to 30m high removed from the Olympic Park, transforming the skyline of east London for good and unlocking the Olympic Park site for the construction of new homes, sporting venues and essential infrastructure; and
- a new backbone of electrical infrastructure created beneath the Olympic Park to power the Games and the lasting regeneration of the area.

ODA Chief Executive David Higgins said: 'Removing the final overhead pylon from the Olympic Park site is a hugely symbolic moment as we begin to transform the skyline of east London for good.

"This £250m project, delivered on time and to budget, has created new jobs for local people and business opportunities for a range of companies and unlocks the Olympic Park landscape for the delivery of new homes, world-class sports venues and essential infrastructure."

The powerlines project was started by the London Development Agency (LDA) in 2005, ahead of London's successful bid to host the 2012 Games. It was then handed over to be managed by the ODA, working with the LDA as well as EDF Energy and National Grid, the companies that own and operate the overhead lines. The powerlines project has involved three separate phases:

Tunneling phase
Two 6km tunnels built beneath the Olympic Park enabling the power needed for the Games and legacy developments to be carried underground.
Four huge 40 tonne tunnelling machines used.
Tunnelling work completed in 424 days.
Olympic Park tunnelling accounted for 85 per cent of the UK’s tunnelling for that year.
200,000 cubic metres of spoil created during tunnelling - enough to fill Wembley Stadium - the majority of which is being reused on Olympic Park.
Complex nature of tunnelling process meant a series of obstacles were encountered during the project, including issues with soil contamination and encountering small ground movements and water ingresses beneath the surface of the Olympic Park.
Tunnelling phase was delivered on time, on budget and with an impressive health and safety record, which was better than the industry average.

Cabling phase
Work began in June last year to install 200km of cabling in the tunnels, enough to stretch from London to Nottingham.
More than 9,000 brackets also installed to carry cabling along the tunnel walls, together with monitoring and ventilation equipment.
Cabling phase of project completed on schedule in May, allowing testing and commissioning of the new underground equipment to begin.
Power then switched underground this summer allowing work to remove the overhead pylons and powerlines to begin.

Pylon removal phase
52 overhead pylons to be removed - 1,300 tonnes of steel which will all be recycled.
130km of overhead wires removed.
All pylons within Olympic Park boundary now removed, unlocking the landscape.
Work to remove the pylons on the outskirts of the Olympic Park, through the Lower Lea Valley towards Hackney and West Ham, will be completed in early 2009.

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