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Industry News

  • Alcomet's Export Territory Reaches Australia!

    Alcomet are pleased to announce the continued expansion of our export territories, which now includes Australasia. Due to a recent switchgear emergency, we were able to resolve a big problem for an Australian operator!

    Oil Circuit Breakers have been in operation since the turn of the 20th Century. Due to the strength and reputation of British manufacturing at this time, global export of British made switchgear was prevalent, many of which are still in use around the world today! However, over time, the majority of these historic manufacturers operations have ceased, therefore sourcing refurbished or replacement parts can be a costly and time consuming task.

    As well as being a trusted supplier of Oil Circuit Breaker Contacts and Tools, Alcomet’s modern understanding of switchgear operations, maintenance and equipment is unparalleled. Our distinct commitment to providing a efficient service and quality product, ensured that when a network operator in Australia suddenly found themselves in emergency need due to a catastrophic failure, our team were able to assist their engineers remotely from the UK. Our teams detailed product knowledge reassured the customer that they were in the right hands. Through continual contact we were able to supply the specific parts required and despatch them to Australia promptly, minimising both disruption and cost to the customer.

    Our easy to navigate website and 24 hr sales and support make sourcing the exact products you require quick and simple, regardless of your location.

    Please click here for more information, or contact us here to speak to a member of our experienced sales team.

  • Alcomet's Expansion into the Oil Industry

    Alcomet are proud to announce our expansion in to the oil industry, having recently been approved as a trusted supplier to several of the UK’s leading oil companies!

    By working closely with the industries principal engineers and experts, we have expanded our range of Oil Circuit Breaker Contacts, fabricated to original designs, to suit the needs of the industry. Additionally, Alcomet are able to reverse engineer oil circuit breaker contacts or tools to specific requirements.

    Our products are made in the UK to the highest quality standards, from fully tested materials, using the ISO-9001 approved manufacturing process.

    Alcomet are devoted to the continued expansion of our dependable service and products, working closely with our customers to ensure we can provide the best service at all times. We strive to fulfill our commitment to customer satisfaction, so that the highest standards of operating excellence are maintained throughout the industry.

    Contact Alcomet here for more information on our Oil Circuit Breaker products, and refurbishing service.

  • Substation Metal and Copper Theft Prevention

    In 2013 metal theft cost the UK economy £770 million pounds.  It also cost 6 lives.

    Ever increasing metal prices have contributed to a large increase in the number of metal theft incidents.  The largest sector to be affected has been infrastructure and businesses.  The Home Office and Department for Transport have also announced an investment of £500,000 to continue its Metal Theft Taskforce which is in place to tackle the theft of vital infrastructure.   The sharp rise in copper prices has seen substations targeted for their copper earthing materials.  For example in just the Saltcoats area they had 20 substation break-ins in one weekend.

    Power companies have had to invest large amounts of money to try and curb metal and particularly copper theft from their sites.  Scottish Power have run campaigns through various media platforms warning of the dangers of metal theft to both the thief and the general public, and to also offer up to £10,000 in rewards for successful metal theft prosecutions.  Electricity North West invested £1million at the end of 2011 in securing their infrastructure.

    Guardian Security Pins

    Guardian Security Pins

    Here at Alcomet we worked alongside engineering professionals to create a range of  products to stop and deter metal and copper theft on substations.  The Guardian Security Products Range was created and won the Queens Award for innovation.

    The range includes security pins to fix earth tape to concrete, these take 1000kg of force to remove.  There are also cover guards which can be fixed over earth tape and conductor.  These products are incredibly difficult to remove and are a great security measure to aid in metal and copper theft prevention.

    The Guardian Security Products Range also includes products for securing earth tape on to metal and has a full accompaniment of tools and security paints to aid in metal and copper theft prevention, and also to deter vandalism.

  • Thieves risk their lives to steal electric cables

    Scottish Power is fighting against Metal Theft criminals as the move to target overhead lines in a spate of thefts in the Milngavie area.

    The Milngavie Herald has reported the following.

    Thieves risked their own lives and threatened the safety of others to steal electricity cables from overhead power lines.

    The brazen crooks carried out two raids on August 4 and 6 - one near Mugdock Country Park (to the west of the park) and another near the A809 in the vicinity of Milngavie and Hilton Park golf courses.

    Properties in the areas lost their power supply for a number of hours until it was restored.

    The power lines can carry up to 11,000 volts of electricity, so as well as putting nearby properties at risk the reckless thieves were dicing with death.

    ScottishPower is working closely with the police to catch those responsible.

    They are offering a £5,000 reward for anyone who can provide information that leads to the conviction of the people involved.

    Guy Jefferson, network operations director at Scottish Power Energy Networks, said: “The recent thefts near Milngavie have been concerning.

    “I’d urge anyone who spots suspicious behaviour near our power lines to report what they see to the police. The thefts can also cause power interruptions, which are a major inconvenience. In the event of any power supply problems, the sooner they are reported to our hotline the quicker we can respond.

    “Metal theft is one of the biggest threats to the safety of the electricity network and the impact of these crimes can be devastating.

    “As well as major power cuts that have inconvenienced thousands of families, we have experienced house fires and damaged electrical appliances in homes following haphazard thefts of our cables.

    “One man died recently attempting to steal copper from an electricity pole in Lanarkshire, and others have suffered horrific burns, loss of limbs and scarring.

    “Unfortunately, it seems like the thieves don’t care about the risk to their own lives, and they certainly show no regard for the safety of neighbouring properties.”

    The Scottish Government is bringing in tough new legislation to address metal theft, ensuring that all dealers are licensed and eliminating cash payments.

    Better records and identity checks will also be introduced to tackle the widespread problem.

    Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill MSP, said: “Metal theft is simply not a victimless crime. As recent incidents have shown, the actions of a selfish minority create unnecessary cost, danger and disruption for the rest of the community.

    “By reducing the outlets for stolen metal and the lure of ready cash we believe we can remove the incentive to steal.

    “With tough legislation and enforcement, and continued work with police, companies like Scottish Power and the majority of reputable metal dealers, we believe we can end this crime.”

    If you can provide 
information on the recent spate of thefts contact the 
police, or call Scottish 
Power’s 24 hour hotline on 0845 272 7999.

    Source -

  • Gangs risk lives on overhead cables

    POLICE have warned that a gang of idiotic thieves are risking their lives by stealing overhead power cables in Beith and Dalry.

    They have issued a plea for witnesses to come forward after a string of early morning thefts in recent weeks.

    A police spokesperson told the Herald: “There is great risk involved in stealing overhead cables. We are concerned that soon someone will be seriously injured or killed when committing these thefts.

    “We are appealing to anyone who has seen people acting suspiciously around electricity infrastructure to contact us.

    “Those involved in this type of crime are often organised and may even appear to be genuine workers wearing similar clothing for example. If you see something you think isn’t right, call us and we will check it out.”

    The power cable thefts took place in Dalry and Beith during the early hours of Monday, July 21, Monday, July 28 and Tuesday, July 29.

    Guy Jefferson, network operations director at SP Energy Networks, commented: “The criminals are targeting mainly remote and rural locations and they are showing a staggering disregard for their own safety, the safety of the public, and that of our employees.

    “Metal theft is not a victimless crime. These dangerous acts not only have the potential to cause serious injury. They can also have a serious impact on nearby homes and businesses.

    “Thefts in Greenock and Kilbarchan last year resulted in a serious house fire and residents experiencing damaged household appliances and extended power cuts.

    “It quite simply beggars belief that anyone would put their life on the line by interfering with thousands of volts of electricity to steal small amounts of copper with a minimal scrap value.

    “If the gangs persist with this reckless behaviour it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or even killed.”

    To provide information on those involved in metal theft or to report suspicious activity call Police Scotland on 101 (always dial 999 in an emergency).

    Information on those involved in crime can also be provided through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where anonymity is guaranteed.

    Source -

  • Energy Networks welcome continued support for metal theft crackdown

    The Home Office and Department for Transport have this week announced £500,000 continued funding for the Metal Theft Taskforce, which coordinates law enforcement activity to tackle the theft of vital infrastructure.
    Energy Networks Association (ENA) led the campaign to bring about the new Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 and has made the case for funding to be continued for the Taskforce, including supporting MPs and Peers with their Parliamentary Questions.

    Welcoming the commitment from Government, ENA Chief Executive David Smith said:

    “After many years of campaigning for tougher rules to stop metal thieves, the new legislation must be supported by well resourced policing and enforcement to be effective. The Metal Theft Taskforce has delivered huge returns for its funding, utilising intelligence and coordinated activity to reduce theft by almost 40%.

    “Society as a whole is a victim of this crime and every effort should be made to ensure our energy, transport and telecommunications infrastructure can provide their vital services without the disruption of this dangerous criminal activity.”

    Source -

  • Electricity Cable Metal Thefts Create Disruption in the North East

    SELFISH metal thieves targeting electricity supplies are putting lives at risk and leaving behind a multi-million-pound bill, bosses have warned.

    Criminals are resorting to more extreme lengths to get their hands on profitable metal and have left Northern Powergrid with a annual bill of £14m, a Sunday Sun investigation revealed.

    A recent spate of metal thefts at electricity substations across the North has sparked extra security measures to be put in place to crack down on offenders.

    Specialist workers at the company, who are tasked with tackling the problem, have noticed a new trend where thieves are becoming more sophisticated and calculating when it comes to planning their crimes.

    And bosses have warned that lives are at risk from unsafe electricity cables left behind at crime scenes.

    Figures collated by the company showed that there were 448 incidents – more than eight a week – in the region last year with around half of them at substations.

    Rod Stuart, from Northern Powergrid, said: “In incidents like these, thieves are stealing cable that possibly has a market value of £30 but are causing thousands of pounds worth of damage, not just to our equipment but to appliances in people’s homes as well.

    “It would be fair to say when these thieves go into substations they know what they are doing because a lot of these cables are carrying 11,000 volts which could seriously injure someone.”

    Further substation thefts were reported last month at Mariner’s Wharf on Newcastle’s Quayside, Durham Road in Gateshead and Benton Park Road in Longbenton, Newcastle.

    There was another suspected incident in Teesside last week where someone attempted to cut through an 11,000-volt cable, only getting part way through, but enough to cut off supply to a large number of properties.

    The culprit is believed to have injured himself in doing so but no one has been traced in connection with it yet.

    It’s unclear whether the recent substation strikes are related but Nigel Walker, valuable assets manager at Northern Powergrid, says the organised nature of the thefts is apparent.


    Source: Sunday Sun March 3rd 2013

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