In just over a year, Keltbray Distribution & Transmission (D&T) has become one of the leading specialist providers of overhead line and sub-station services to the UK Distribution & Transmission market.

Since its launch in Summer 2018, when Keltbray acquired SPIE’s overhead electricity transmission and distribution business, it has gone from strength to strength and is now the UK’s largest contractor for wood-pole distribution, delivering refurbishment and construction services to six of the seven Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) across the UK.

The service range includes surveys, design, SAP engineering, foundation installation and repair, and by delivering multi-year frameworks and capital projects from LV to 132kV, D&T is also able to respond to system emergencies for all its clients to assist them in returning their network to service during storms.

But why is it so successful? We spoke to Managing Director, Mike Snee, and Operations Director, Liam McMyler, to find out.

When Keltbray acquired the business, it took with it over 300 SPIE Distribution and Transmission employees. “It was Keltbray’s continuous commitment to people and relationships that meant so many employees joined the business from SPIE. And that reputation has proven accurate as every one of our employees has since benefited from specialised compulsory D&T training including health, safety, wellbeing and working at heights,” said Mike.

“Through this training, Keltbray has been able to grow the business to more than 400 contracted staff, including sub-contractors. But to have so many staff that have been working together for the last ten years at least, means we have a very strong, highly experienced team that trust each other explicitly. As our teams work in a highly safety-critical environment – at height, and around electricity and moving plant – our safety performance is crucial.”

Liam added, “We also look to multi skill as many of our linesmen as we can and as such we have an increasing number of staff who can work on woodpole distribution overhead lines and transmission tower lines. The regulatory efficiency pressures on our clients require the supply chain to be flexible and innovative in how we approach the activities we carry out. Keltbray is well placed to respond to this challenge.”

But what about tools and equipment?

“Since Keltbray acquired the D&T business, we have invested circa £750,000 in critical machinery and equipment to ensure the business can compete in the transmission OHL sector. This has already paid dividends with major projects being delivered utilising Keltbray owned plant. This commitment is recognised by our clients and provided greater confidence that no matter the size and complexity of the project, Keltbray has the skills, experience and equipment to do the project safely and efficiently,” Mike answered. “This level of investment so early on has been greatly appreciated by the staff in the business and gives them the confidence in Keltbray’s plans to expand and grow the business.”

When D&T was launched, Keltbray’s CEO Brendan Kerr had a vision that it would help grow the Group’s established specialist service portfolio and strengthen the Keltbray name within newer territories. It is certainly doing that so what will the next 12 months bring? You’ll need to watch this space.