Supporting the construction of the Nethermills Hydro Scheme to produce green energy in Scotland

  • Project Nethermills Hydro Scheme
  • Principal Contractor Bailey Contracts
  • Project Lead Brian Chambers, Technical Sales
  • Key Benefit MGF helped the customer to solve issues onsite and keep to tight deadlines using bespoke solutions
Trench Boxes installed in a river


Located in Ayr, plans were made in 2020 to harness the potential from running water and convert it into energy. Plans included the installation of the Archimedes screw turbine, a hydro turbine which utilises water using rotational energy, this energy is extracted by an electrical generator connected to the screw.

The Archimedes screw turbine measures 4 metres in diameter and 10 in length and has the capacity to generate significant amounts of kilowatts of green energy. The aim of the hydro scheme is to help the transition into more green forms of energy.

As the site was part of a running river, this proved to be a complex scheme which required bespoke designs using MGF equipment.

Unishore installed
Trench Boxes in a river

The Solution

Trench boxes were used to dam the water and create a newly constructed concrete chamber to house the Archimedes screw. Each box had to be weighed down with clean stone so that the boxes were prevented from moving and nothing was contaminated by the water. Elsewhere onsite, MGF’s piling hammer was used to install the customers own sheet piles in a safe and efficient manner.

To allow for additional working space, our structural support products were offered. A clear distance of 380mm was required between the trench boxes and end of the concrete structure.

Due to strict deadlines, the customer needed assistance in resolving the issue before the screw was delivered and subsequently needed to be installed. It was decided that our full UniShore medium and heavy range would be utilised, including hydraulic jacks. The customer proposed a table using the UniShore props which had 4 horizontals with jacks on one end, the jacks were to be pumped out to help stabilise the boxes against the current. After the equipment was stable, the UniShore construct was removed in time to allow for the successful installation of the screw.

Unishore kit
Unishore installed
Unishore on site

The Verdict

In all, MGF provided Baileys with quality equipment from both our excavation and structural support range to enable the successful completion of this stage of the project.

As kit was delivered in a timely manner, this allowed the customer to meet tight deadlines and maintain the project timeline without issue.

With works currently ongoing, the expected completion date is set at March 2022.