Thames Tideway

The Thames Tideway project created an urgently needed major sewer, serving the capital and protecting the Thames from pollution. Sprawling 25 kilometres, it follows the river's course from Acton storm tanks to Abbey Mills pumping station.


Design, Installation and Testing and commissioning

Project Value

£10 - 20 million



VVB designed, installed, commissioned and maintained the Temporary Electrical and Communication systems for the Thames Tideway project.

Our role involved electrical site setup for the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) assembly, launch and surface support, maintenance of temporary tunnel services, and site demobilisation.

The overall programme was divided into three sections; Western, Central and Eastern, and joint ventures were formed with tier one contractors.

VVB was awarded its contract with the Ferrovial Agroman and Laing O’Rourke joint venture (FLO JV), responsible for the delivery of the Central section – the largest tunnel drive section, worth around £745 million.

The Central section is comprised of two tunnel drives, covering a total distance of 12.7 kilometres. Both launch from Kirtling Street in Battersea. The first heads West to Carnwath Road in Fullham, the second heads East to Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey.

Eight shafts along the route varied in depth from 42 to 62 metres, with six connecting tunnels. VVB provided support for site setup, design and installation of HV and site wide power distribution, and temporary lighting.

VVB’s scope included temporary tunnel systems, temporary electrical systems, tunnel monitoring and communications.

Temporary tunnel systems:

  • Design of Temporary Electrical systems
  • Design of Temporary Communication systems

Temporary electrical systems:

  • Site setup
  • Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) temporary electrical supplies, above and below ground
  • Installation and commissioning of HV/LV and lighting systems
  • Maintenance and electrical safety checks
  • HV switching

Tunnel monitoring and communications:

  • Telephones
  • Fibre optic cabling
  • Surface data systems
  • Fixed gas monitoring

Maintenance of electrical and communication systems:

  • Maintain temporary electrics throughout tunnel
  • Provide surface support for electrical and communication systems
  • Demobilise all temporary systems

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