Linxon Managing Director Hub EMEA, Stefan Reisacher, on the greater good that substations can supply
Linxon is a joint venture company set up by SNC-Lavalin and Hitachi ABB Power Grids to deliver turnkey substation projects. In the rail sector, the company designs, constructs, tests and commissions complete traction power supply systems in high–voltage, traction and auxiliary power for high-speed lines, light/metro lines, main lines and freight lines.
Linxon substations for rail deliver reliable power to the line and vehicles. Optimised rail electrification solutions ensure reliable supplies of AC and DC power are available to support high performance and efficiency.
End-to-end solutions by Linxon include feasibility studies, grid compliance, initial design through to project construction, commissioning and after-sales support.
The new company, which started operations in September 2018, also benefits from a long and successful history. It can draw on combined innovation over more than 130 years and is a major player in the ownership of infrastructure.
Linxon is seeking to strengthen its market position in the rail traction power market in Europe and the UK. Yet it is the ‘greater good’ that Linxon can deliver that is currently driving the business forwards, as Linxon’s Managing Director Hub EMEA, Stefan Reisacher explained.
He said: “Yes we do substations, yes we’re in business, yes we provide support to the transport, utilities and renewable sectors, but we also want to do something to create a greater good for communities.
“On one hand it is a vision, a community commitment, while on the other we are building on the strength of our two shareholders. We are a unique company that combines the technological strength of an original equipment manufacturer, in Hitachi ABB Power Grids, and the project delivery capabilities of SNC-Lavalin. There is no other company in the market that provides this under the umbrella of a single organisation.
“We can make a big difference to Britain’s railways and the communities they serve. Central to this is that we are a company built on people. We are investing in apprenticeship programmes and making a major contribution into STEM programmes. Being able to be part of the resurgence in Britain’s rail infrastructure and create a sustainable UK based organisation with employment opportunities will enable us to further this commitment.
In all of our projects there is an opportunity to coach, train, and develop people so that they will go on to create value, not just for the projects that are taking place in their communities but for the communities themselves.
To be sustainable, to get people on board for this journey and to enable the people involved, a business has to have this type of flow.
“People can be a part of our projects and if Linxon can be a vehicle for this level of change then that is brilliant.”
Linxon’s team has successfully completed, on time and to budget, large scale power projects across the globe, in the United States, Saudi Arabia, UAE, India and Sweden. It continues to win work globally, from niche substation work to large packages within multi-disciplinary mega-projects.
Linxon takes its role of creating a sustainable society for future generations seriously and joined the TED Countdown initiative as part of its commitment to tackling climate change and reaching net zero by 2050.
Stefan said: “It’s part of our commitment to society. Whilst electrification is certainly part of the solution for combatting climate impact, we also need to build electrical substations in an environmentally responsible way. To do this, we have to rethink the way we traditionally engineer, procure and construct our products. Clearly it is business-related but as we move people within and between cities on rail we have to minimise the carbon footprint. We are currently the only company from the substation industry that is a part of TED Countdown. Linxon is also pursuing Circular Economy Principles across all of our projects across the globe.
”All of which, of course, also places client relationships at the heart of the way Linxon operates.
Stefan explained: “Linxon creates value for customers because our clients get the best of both worlds, the best technological solutions combined with the best project management, engineering, project delivery, construction and competence of a contractor. We combine technological solutions with the right implementation.
“When we work with clients, we establish what success looks like and then we obsess about supporting them to achieve that. Obviously, we are here to do business but we genuinely want to make sure that clients meet their own goals and objectives. If we collaborate to deliver that equation then we are extremely happy to do so and the client is happy too. Our projects are a success because of the nature of the way we collaborate. Our contribution to a project is only ever a part of the success but we believe that we are the right people to work with.”
The collaborative culture within Linxon leads to natural partnerships forming, not least when it comes to joining forces with the likes of Arcadis and SSE Enterprise Contracting.
It is a partnership that excites Stefan and one that, he explained, is entirely authentic and has evolved naturally.
He said: “There is no other partnership of this nature so we can build something together that provides something genuinely unique for the rail market.
“Not one contractor can provide distribution networks, utilities competences with rail technology for trackside applications, and we have a unique opportunity to deliver something for the rail network in the UK that will, in the long term, be of significant benefit to UK communities.
“There is something very special here, I would say. It is genuine, authentic and has really come about naturally. We do not need to collaborate, we are all successful business in our own right but we have chosen to unite because we can see that we can do something for the better, together. When we discuss the challenges we face, that the industry faces, it is as if we all speak with one voice.
“And this association with Arcadis and SSE Enterprise Contracting will not just be for one contract. We view this as a long-term partnership. Ultimately, it will create long-term value for the network and train operators, and those that use the services of those operators.
“There’s incredible value to come out of this consortium, we bring a combined strength. Each partner has a clear understanding of how to integrate our respective specialisms to provide solutions to clients that will be different to any other contractor.
“In some ways it’s an easy marriage. We come together from completely different perspectives and with different competences and capabilities but we can see how complementary it is to join out individual strengths in order to provide high-value to end customers.”