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Powering up Belfast

Northern Christchurch, Belfast

In February 2021, we started a major project to increase the capacity and resilience of the power network to support future growth in northern Christchurch. We laid a new underground 66kV cable from our Marshland Zone substation on Prestons Road to a new substation under construction on Blakes Road in Belfast.

The work involved installing the new cable along a 4.1km stretch on Prestons, Marshland, Belfast and Blakes Roads. We worked in sections digging between a series of cable joint bays, installed reinforced concrete at the bottom of the trench then installed the new cable. The cable was then encased in thermal concrete before the trench was backfilled and the road surface repaired.

In July 2021 we completed a key stage of the work along Prestons Road. We installed a section of 66kV cable from the Marshland Zone substation through the intersection to Marshland Road. This was challenging as we had to reduce Prestons Road to one-way eastbound so that our crews could work safely. This meant our community had to detour around the worksite. We scheduled this work over the school holidays, put on extra crew and worked longer hours to finish as quickly as possible. The crews completed the work in three weeks, well ahead of schedule.

We have some final works to complete; joining sections of cable, but this will not affect traffic flows and will be completed by early 2022.

Thank you to the local community for their patience and understanding while we completed these essential works.

For more information, see the project overview notice.

Powering Up Belfast Prestons Concrete

Pouring the concrete in the bottom of the trench on Prestons Road.


Cable Drum

Each cable arrives on a large drum which is lifted into place by a crane.


Powering Up Belfast Laying Cable2

Laying the cable in the trench using a winch and temporary rollers. The crew work in the trench to make sure the cable moves smoothly.


Cables passing through ducts

Feeding the cable through ducts.



Morning tea with the crew and the community to celebrate finishing Prestons Road work early.

Project Details

Started February 2021

Due to be completed early 2022


New 66kV underground cable from Marshland Zone substation to a new substation being built on Blakes Road.


  • Increased resilience
  • Increased capacity
  • Increased reliability of supply

We worked with

  • Connetics
  • Isaac Construction
  • Taihan