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Delivering Switchgear Containers for HS2 Project

The Customer

CEMA Ltd was founded in 1987 and is now one of the leading electrical engineering companies in the UK, supplying and installing the highest quality and most advanced process and plant control systems.

The Challenge 

To assist rapid re-development of a water abstraction and treatment site necessitated by the HS2 project, CEMA were asked to supply and deliver circa 25M between two Motor Control Centres in separate, re-purposed shipping containers, which they worked with the S Jones Conversions team to provide.

As a consequence of the pandemic, it was agreed to complete all of the build and MCC installation off-site to both minimise travelling and exposure, as well as limiting personnel risk by performing the majority of the work in a controlled environment.

The Solution

Special attention and customised designs were employed to provide non-standard height product capable of being installed in the reduced space available. Certified designs of the busbar systems had to be maintained and incorporated, together with customised design and build of a Power Quality Filter system within the space limitations.

Special measures for environmental monitoring and control within the containers were necessary to provide effective heating and cooling for the equipment, which, as well as the PQF, contained Variable Speed Drives and other significant heat-generating equipment.

The original concept of providing high-volume forced-air ventilation of the container was dismissed as being too noisy and not cost-effective. Specialist sub-contract designers were employed to model the worst-case heat-gain scenario, taking into account insulation values of the custom container build and including the solar gain relative to the geographical location and external colour of the container, to identify the most economic air-conditioning solution for the buildings.

Field cabling access to the MCC was developed with an innovative approach adopted for cable glanding. As a result of the height restrictions within the container cable glanding space within the MCC had become compromised. To counter this and applying out-of-the-box thinking, gland plates were relocated to the underneath of the containers which were to be suspended above ground to provide cabling access from below.

To assist with the turn-key solution, the container had to be equipped with a certified Fire Alarm system interconnected with the MCC to effectively cut the power by tripping the Mains and Generator Air Circuit Breakers in the event of an alarm. Together with the alarm system general domestic services were built into the container customisation and connected back to the MCC.

Following the build and witness-testing by the clients the MCCs were installed into the containers at CEMAs factory, re-built and re-tested prior to delivery. Specialist lifting and transport equipment was employed to enable the completed units, weighing twelve tonnes each, to be delivered to site on schedule.


switchgear containers for HS2 Project

What CEMA Had To Say

S Jones presented themselves and their capability far in excess of their competitors. Their understanding of the client requirements and the attention to detail was paramount to the success of the project. Working directly with Andrew and Les meant we had direct access for timely and knowledgeable decisions and guidance. We would highly recommend S Jones for all partners on future schemes.

Graeme Morley, Managing Director – CEMA Ltd

The Application

Additional ventilation fitted to the container







CEMA Ventilation
Specialist fabrications put into place for added support and stability







CEMA Reinforced Structure
Managed interior with bespoke housing







CEMA GM switchgear containers interior
Our commitment to safety







Side of switchgear containers for HS2 Project

See why 98% of our customers recommend us!

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5th Feb 2024

Hi from ordering the container to its delivery it was all carried out extremely professionally and Claire was a pleasure to deal with. Andrew

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28th Jan 2024

Great service from first contact to delivery, Elisha answered all my queries by email promptly so we had clear knowledge of the product. Delivery driver called an hour before just as they said he would, then positioned it perfectly for us. 10/10. Will be using again.

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23rd Jan 2024

Excellent customer service from quotation through to delivery.

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