Four supergrid transformers that will play a vital role in the north of Scotland’s future electricity network are set to make the final stage of their journey from Buckie Harbour to Blackhillock substation near Keith, over the coming weeks.

The transformers, which each weigh approximately 245 tonnes, have been delivered by sea from Sweden to Buckie Harbour where they are due to be loaded on to multi-axle trailers by specialist haulier Allelys, working on behalf of Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and its lead contractor ABB.

The transformers will be delivered to site during a complex and timely operation which will be under the guidance and supervision of Police Scotland. To ensure the delivery is made safely, and with the minimum of disruption, traffic management systems will be in place with police escorts where necessary.

To minimise disruption to commuters, businesses and residents, the four deliveries will take place on a Sunday and are programmed to be undertaken on 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th July. The deliveries are due to leave Buckie Harbour at approximately 8am on each of these dates and the convoy is not expected to stop until they safely reach Blackhillock Substation.

Delivery Route

  • Leave Buckie Harbour, turning left onto Commercial Road
  • Turning right onto Freuchny Road
  • Turning left onto March Road 
  • Turning right onto A98
  • Turning left onto B9016 – Temporary Road Closure will be in place
  • Turning left onto the A96 and continuing through Keith until reaching their destination at the HVDC Converter station at Blackhillock. Parking restrictions will be in place through Keith to allow safe transit.

SSEN Project Manager, David Fraser, said: “Every stage in the journey of these transformers has been carefully planned, going back to the earliest stages of developing plans for the new substation. Once they arrive and are installed on site, they are expected to play a key role in the network for decades to come. The arrival of these transformers represents a significant milestone in the Blackhillock development and the overall Caithness-Moray transmission project

“Our team will be working alongside our specialist haulier, the roads authorities and the police to make sure each delivery can be completed smoothly, safely and with minimum disruption to other traffic.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community in advance for their patience and understanding while we transport these very large transformers onto their final destination.”

Blackhillock substation is part of the £1.1bn Caithness-Moray project which represents the largest investment in the north of Scotland’s electricity network since the hydro development era of the 1950s and is the largest capital investment project undertaken by the SSE Group to date. It is also the largest Living Wage contract ever awarded in the UK, demonstrating SSEN’s strong commitment to ensure all employees working on its sites get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

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