Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for delivering power to 3.9 million homes and businesses across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, is helping a local manufacturer upscale its production of essential parts for specialist ventilators and other medical equipment, as it continues to support the global response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Connor Solutions, based in Tyne and Wear, asked distribution network operator, Northern Powergrid, to upgrade their power supply to double its current electrical capacity and enable the company to run additional lines for the crucial electronic components it makes for NHS medical equipment, including ventilators.
Andrew Hunter, Northern Powergrid’s Programme Manager, said: “We’ve worked closely with Connor Solutions to quickly produce a design scheme and quote for the work required to upgrade the capacity, including a socially distanced meeting on site to gather the necessary information and answer their questions. It’s been great to be involved in this project to increase the manufacture of these vital medical components and help support the fight against COVID-19.”
Matt Preston, Northern Powergrid’s General Manager for the Northumberland, County Durham and Tyne and Wear area, said: “We swiftly assembled an expert team to work together with Connor Solutions so we could increase the capacity to their factory as quickly as possible. We’ve also supported them with the work they are required to do at the factory so they are ready to go as soon as possible. The work they are doing to safeguard the supply of much needed medical equipment for the NHS is fantastic. We’re very proud to be playing our part in powering their vital work, supporting the COVID-19 response and enabling increased productivity that could support new job opportunities at a time when economic recovery is key.”
Dermot Guerin, Managing Director at Connor Solutions, said: “This is an unprecedented situation and we feel privileged to play a part in the global response to ramp up production of life critical ventilators, respirators, and infusion pumps to assist our NHS frontline staff, and healthcare professionals worldwide, in their amazing response to this pandemic. Our team has been absolutely incredible and they’re working tirelessly to ensure we meet the ramp up plans for these products that are so essential to patients in intensive care units and critical in the fight against COVID-19.
“The support from Northern Powergrid in helping us to upgrade our electrical supply at Rainton Bridge so we can increase production has been vital, alongside the support of Sunderland City Council and our contractor it means that we will be able to progress quickly and increase production and create new jobs.”
Northern Powergrid remains ready to support, wherever possible, any request for increased capacity for businesses who are responding to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The network operator’s safe working practices and robust operating protocols have meant that Northern Powergrid has remained there for its customers 24/7, 365 days a year powering businesses, homes, hospitals and supermarkets during the peak of the pandemic and beyond into the next stages. As lockdown is gradually eases, the company has reviewed its protocols so it can also deliver its next key role; supporting economic recovery in the weeks and months ahead.
It’s industry leading approach, means the company can assess work such as major projects, investments, new connections and other non-critical business activities, which can now go ahead and help get the region back up and running whilst still ensuring its people, customers and the communities it serves remain safe.
Anyone needing support during a power cut can contact the network operator 24/7 on social media (Facebook or Twitter @NorthPowergrid) or by calling 105. Its website also provides information and advice to support customers if they have or need to report a power cut.
Any customers who may need additional advice or support due to their medical circumstances, or are currently ‘shielding’ in line with government and public health advice, may wish to consider joining the company’s free Priority Services Register by visiting northernpowergrid.com/cares or calling 0800 169 2296.
To find out more about how Northern Powergrid and its people are continuing to power the region during the pandemic visit northernpowergrid.com/coronavirus or follow the network operator on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.