Hayward Tyler creates a centre of excellence for the energy equipment sector
Hayward Tyler, a designer and manufacturer of specialist motors and pumps for some of the most demanding environment across the worldwide energy sector, is creating a centre of excellence in Luton, UK, in order to expand its production capacity. The centre will be the most advanced facility for specialist motor manufacture in the world, and will be a huge boon for the energy industry.
The company has poured £20 million worth of investment into its Luton factory, which has allowed it to double production capability with a 30,000 square foot extension, and it has partnered with Street Crane to aid in this transformation. Street Crane has supplied and installed two 40-ton double girder cranes in this new section of the facility, and replaced old cranes in the existing section with two 40-ton and two 25-tone double girder cranes.
The new overhead equipment is used throughout the entire manufacturing process, from unloading materials on arrival through to final equipment despatch. They help to optimise space, enabling the smoothest possible production processes.
Larry Redmond, Special Projects Director for Hayward Tyler explained: “We view our assembly and test area as one big machine system and the cranes form a vital part of that machine, providing the appropriate lifting capability for the large motors and pumps we manufacture. The crane equipment is essential for all stages of the process including loading machines, as well as the assembly and testing of our products.
“As the cranes will be in operation for a considerable time period, one of our key selection criteria was maintainability. The modular design approach used by Street gave us confidence in the future availability of appropriate parts and service levels.
“Street’s ability to work in partnership with us was key to the success of this project. The team worked closely with us throughout the design process to ensure the cranes would be fit for purpose and that there was minimal impact on production when the replacement cranes were installed in the existing part of the factory.
“This required careful co-ordination with the main building contractor regarding removal and installation, including removing parts of the factory’s roof sheeting several times. This was all completed without fuss and is testament to the expertise of the individuals and companies involved.”
Chris Lindley-Smith, Street Crane’s Sales Director added: “This is a very impressive new facility which relies on safe, reliable and advanced lifting equipment to meet its demanding production schedule. We responded to the needs of Hayward Tyler with bespoke cranes that are smooth and easy to operate.
“Crucially for the client, we were able to work with the wider design and build team to install the cranes with minimal disruption, ensuring they could be accommodated effectively in both the new and existing building structure.
“I have been personally involved with this project from the start and it has been a pleasure to work with Hayward Tyler. Street Crane is very proud to provide this equipment for a premier UK manufacturer.”
Ofwat allows retailers to raise prices from April
Retailers can recover a portion of excess bad debt by temporarily increasing prices from April 2022, according to an Ofwat statement.
The regulator confirmed its view that levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue, thereby allowing "a temporary increase" in the maximum prices. Adjustments to price caps will apply for a minimum of two years to reduce the step changes in price that customers might experience.
Measures introduced since March 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19 could lead to retailers facing higher levels of customer bad debt. Retailers’ abilities to respond to this are expected to be constrained by Ofwat strengthening protections for non-household customers during Covid-19 and the presence of price caps.
In April last year, Ofwat committed to provide additional regulatory protection if bad debt costs across the market exceeded 2% of non-household revenue.
Georgina Mills, Business Retail Market Director at Ofwat said: “These decisions aim to protect the interests of non-household customers in the short and longer term, including from the risk of systemic Retailer failure as the business retail market continues to feel the impacts of COVID-19. By implementing market-wide adjustments to price caps, we aim to minimise any additional costs for customers in the shorter term by promoting efficiency and supporting competition.”
There are also three areas where Ofwat has not reached definitive conclusions and is seeking further evidence and views from stakeholders:
- Pooling excess bad debt costs – Ofwat proposes that the recovery of excess bad debt costs is pooled across all non-household customers, via a uniform uplift to price caps.
- Keeping open the option of not pursuing a true up – For example if outturn bad debt costs are not materially higher than the 2% threshold.
- Undertaking the true up – If a 'true up' is required, Ofwat has set out how it expects this to work in practice.
Further consultation on the proposed adjustments to REC price caps can be expected by December.
"While it’s great that regulators are helping the industry deal with bad debt in the wake of the pandemic, raising prices only treats the symptoms. Instead, water companies should head upstream, using customer data to identify and rectify the causes of bad debt, stop it at source and help prevent it from occurring in the first place," she said.
"While recouping costs is a must, water companies shouldn’t just rely on the regulator. Data can help companies segment customers, identify and assist customers that are struggling financially, avoiding penalising the entire customer in tackling the cause of the issue."
United Utilities picks up pipeline award
A race-against-time plumbing job to connect four huge water pipes into the large Haweswater Aqueduct in Cumbria saw United Utilities awarded Utility Project of the Year by Pipeline Industries Guild.
The Hallbank project, near Kendal, was completed within a tight eight-day deadline, in a storm and during the second COVID lockdown last November – and with three hours to spare. Principal construction manager John Dawson said the project helped boost the resilience of water supplies across the North West.
“I think what made us stand out was the scale, the use of future technology and the fact that we were really just one team, working collaboratively for a common goal," he said.
Camus Energy secures $16m funding
Camus Energy, which provides advanced grid management technology, has secured $16 million in a Series A round, led by Park West Asset Management and joined by Congruent Ventures, Wave Capital and other investors, including an investor-owned utility. Camus will leverage the operating capital to expand its grid management software platform to meet growing demand from utilities across North America.
As local utilities look to save money and increase their use of clean energy by tapping into low-cost and low-carbon local resources, Camus' grid management platform provides connectivity between the utility's operations team, its grid-connected equipment and customer devices.