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IFA2 Converter Station

Non-Conductive Fencing, Trench Covers and Access Structures | Case Study

Project: IFA2 Converter Station, UK

Clients: Morgan Sindall

Contractor Morgan Sindall was appointed to design, build and commission the new converter station and chose to work with Dura Composites to provide safe, non- metallic Glass Reinforced Polymer (GRP) utility fencing for the AC/DC Halls, as well as a range of non-conductive access structures, utility trench covers & handrailing across the site.

The IFA2 project aims to connect the electricity systems of Great Britain and France using high voltage subsea cables and will be capable of exporting or importing 1000MW of power between the UK and France, enough to power up to 1 million homes.

In this project, the client specification mandated the use of non-conductive and non-metallic materials which could be used to construct removable fencing, permanent fencing and sliding gates to enable access to specific authorised personnel, whilst preventing others from accessing high-risk areas.

With a wealth of detailed technical information about its product range based on real-world testing criteria, Dura Composites were able to provide crowd loading data, span information and technical drawings to support the overall Morgan Sindall document control system requirements for the project. With a visually appealing mesh design which permits continuous airflow, Dura Composites’ safety fencing can be pre-assembled off site for rapid installation or supplied in component form.

Also in this project, our open mesh and pultruded Dura Grating proved the ideal trench cover alternative for heavy steel and concrete. Our ingenious mechanical lifting system eliminated the need for heavy plant machinery whilst ensuring accessible inspection at all times.

With a large variety of trenches which varied in load, span and ventilation requirements, we were able to provide extensive design support to ensure that the resulting covers met the required load ratings. A combination of moulded open mesh, pultruded open mesh and pultruded solid Dura Grating products were used, often within the same trench run.

Bespoke colour coding was employed to visualise the different load ratings – and  all design work was all backed up by our unrivalled real-world test data.

        Commenting about the project, Jonny Pilbin, Principal Design Manager at Morgan Sindall said:

Dura Composites were extremely professional; working with the project team to develop solutions that met all of our requirements from concept design through to installation. Their ability to offer tailoring of their existing product range combined with bespoke design services was exactly what we needed for such a complex project.


The quality of the finished product is fantastic and we are extremely happy with how well the whole process was managed. Overall a first-class service from start to finish.

Unlocking the Power of Composites for Power and Energy Projects

As projects like this demonstrate, adopting new technologies, processes and solutions within the transmission network is crucial to enabling an energy system that’s fit for anticipated demand and for ensuring continuity of power.

GRP composites can provide major design flexibility, time saving benefits and significant lifecycle advantages over traditional materials such as plywood, hardwood and concrete, and recent clarification of key standards areas such as fire performance have made them more accessible than ever. Our tailored d2 Dura Grating for example is a new patent pending GRP grating series that takes structural flooring to the next level.

d2 Dura Grating offers outstanding safety, performance and durability and is more cost-effective than traditional GRP grating in almost every scenario. Available exclusively from Dura Composites, d2 Dura Grating Solid Top 41mm can be supplied as standard with properties such as strength, stiffness, weight and colour can be engineered by product design at the early stages of development and applications for GRP within the Energy and Utilities Sector include GRP flooring, handrails, trench and duct covers, up and over staircases, utility screening and roof walkways.

Contact our Specialist GRP team about our Composite Solutions on 01255 440290

Joe Hunt

Industrial Sales Manager

Ian Dennis

Industrial Sales Key Account Manager

Danielle Lewis

Industrial Sales Account Manager