Cleat maker's £1.5m deal supports energy project

The Northern Echo: Ellis' cable saddles are supporting the London Power Tunnels project Ellis' cable saddles are supporting the London Power Tunnels project

A CABLE cleat maker is supporting a major energy development in a £1.5m deal.

Ellis, in Rillington, near Scarborough, has sent cable saddles to National Grid's London Power Tunnels project.

The seven-year scheme is rewiring the capital through deep underground tunnels to meet rising electricity demand.

Workers are now fitting Ellis' equipment, known as Centaur, to secure high-voltage cables across the tunnels' 20-mile stretch.

The company secured the contract after impressing German cable maker S?dkabel, which is supplying cabling for the development.

Richard Shaw, Ellis managing director, said the firm's success maintained its pioneering market position after investing £100,000 to ensure sure Centaur could withstand industry rigours.

He said: “It's always great to secure a new specification, especially such a large one, but it’s even more rewarding seeing the product installed and used for what it was designed.

“When we designed Centaur, neither the UK or European Standards took into account cleats on high voltage cables of this size.

“This meant those specifying for such jobs were very much in the hands of the manufacturers, who in most cases simply provided warranties for their products.

“The problem with this was that none of the products available had been short-circuit tested, so the warranties were based purely on calculations and mechanical tests.

“There was no proof the saddle cleats being used would withstand the most testing elements of the job.

“We invested more than £100,000 to design, develop, test and bringing Centaur to the market, which, at the time, was the largest amount we’d ever invested in one new product.

“But we had the confidence it would solve a major safety issue and that has proven well-placed.”

Earlier this year, Ellis secured one of its largest orders after helping expand a mosque welcoming millions of worshippers.

The firm sent cleats to the Shamiya Haram, part of the holy mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which is being expanded to cater for more than two million worshippers.

It has also worked with Siemens to make clamps for high-voltage cables on a German electrical substation that will help power thousands of homes.

Ellis was founded in 1962 by former RAF bomber pilot turned plumber Arthur Ellis, who flew more than 90 missions in the Second World War.

The company is still based on the original site where Mr Ellis set up business.

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