Having endured 128 years of incessant ocean waves, merciless seagulls and generations of day-tripping tourists, Bournemouth Pier has become legendary for its sturdiness.

But even the toughest and oldest of reputations can tumble, so when Energyst CAT Rental Power was asked to place two huge generators on the shore at the start of the pier they knew stealth would be key factor.

New pumping station

The replacement of an ageing sewage pumping system responsible for much of the town’s daily waste demanded that a temporary pumping system be put in place to maintain a safe and continuous flow below the structure.

Local concern about the beloved structure’s wellbeing meant the work, carried out for the main contractor, The Damar Group, would be done under the vigilant gaze of many, as the pier is a top tourist attraction that draws many hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.

Wolverhampton-based Energyst and its client of many years, Addicott Electrics of Teignmouth, Devon, installed the generators for The Damar Group. Addicott’s sales director, Richard Codd explained: “It took an entire morning for us to very carefully transport the units to the pumping station and great care was taken to make sure we didn’t damage anything on the pedestrian area by the pier.

“Ordinarily the pier area is only open to pedestrian traffic so the heavy machinery’s presence was quite a spectacle in itself.

“It then took us a further two days to get the generators up and working but with something like this you simply cannot be too careful.”

While the Damar Group’s staff worked flat out to replace the incoming HV transformers and LV electrical panels for the new pumping system, the Energyst units maintained a constant flow of power.

Silence is golden

The complex job had the added difficulty of requiring virtual silence for the duration of the week that the task took – no mean feat when the gargantuan 600KVAs were pumping out more than enough power to keep an entire housing estate in operation.

“The idea of such heavy equipment operating all day also caused some concern among locals until they realised the Energyst generators would operate silently,” said Dave Dodge, Energyst’s sales engineer for the South. “This is a great achievement when you consider these machines are powerful enough to run an entire housing estate or a very large shopping centre.

“It was a big job and these units performed flawlessly throughout the operation.

“The other potentially problematic issue was that we couldn’t turn the pumps off because, obviously, sewage had to be continually pumped out of the town – it’s not the kind of thing that can just be stopped, so the machines were worked very hard for seven days without fault.”

Pan-European specialist

Respecting the safety of historic ocean-bracing structures aside, Energyst’s pan-European approach gives a consistent solution based offering to some of the largest customers in Europe.

Energyst has won a solid reputation for its supply of the exclusively Caterpillar power generation and temperature control units to businesses as diverse as petro-chemical plants to famous sporting events including the Aintree Grand National.