Venues & Events
The EDF Energy London Eye celebrates the completion of its £12.5m capsule upgrade programme
- Category: Venues & Events
- Created on Tuesday, 08 May 2012 09:34
The EDF Energy London Eye celebrates the completion of its £12.5m capsule upgrade programmeThe EDF Energy London Eye last night completed its £12.5 million capsule upgrade programme and the South Bank saw the return of the 32nd and final 10 tonne capsule. Collectively, the capsules have now travelled 11,217 miles (18848.64 km) travelling by river and road to a workshop in Worcester.
Each of the capsules, carefully removed one at a time, were taken to Tilbury Docks in Essex where they were loaded onto trucks before being accompanied by an escort to their make-over destination. The completion of the activity was scheduled to coincide with the start of summer 2012 when London, and its most popular attractions, is set to see a surge in visitor numbers. The purpose of the programme was to further enhance the customer experience, improve environmental credentials and ‘future proof’ this iconic London landmark.
As a direct result of the project, the EDF Energy London Eye’s energy consumption has been cut by 30%, against its target of 20%. Another of the capsule upgrade programme’s key goals was to reduce the London Eye’s carbon footprint. This has been achieved with a 33% reduction in CO2 emissions, which was also partly reached due to moving to a low carbon supply. In addition, refrigerant gasses have been significantly reduced (by 128 kilograms per capsule) by using free-cooling to cool and de-humidify the capsule; this means that the air-flow systems on the Eye are more environmentally friendly as well as providing a more pleasant environment for guests.
During the three year programme, approximately 110 designers, engineers, technicians and testers have worked extensively to complete the upgrade in time. A total of 640 hours, or the length of it time it would take to complete 320 rotations on the London Eye, have been spent by the various team members in the capsules.
Further to this, each of the upgraded capsules were installed with Interactive Touch-Screen Guides at the beginning of this year, enhancing the guests experience by providing information about the landmarks that can be seen from the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel. The touch-screen guides provide a more interactive way to take in the capital’s best sights. Features include key information on landmarks that can be seen from the London Eye as well as a 3D view of each sight, further bringing it to life. Additionally, innovative 360 degree non-stop-24-hour filming has granted the EDF Energy London Eye and its guests the first ever multi-dimensional views of the spectacular sights of the capital.
From planning to completion, there have been more than twenty companies involved with the various aspects of the project. The London Eye has supported the British manufacturing industry by selecting the best engineering company for the job within the UK. Whilst some components have been sourced from outside Britain, these companies all have subsidiary companies in the UK.
Commenting David Sharpe, Divisional Director (London) for the Merlin Entertainments Group, owner of the London Eye, said: ‘It’s fantastic too see our hard work over the last five years, since planning began, finally come to fruition. Watching the 32nd upgraded capsule being attached last night was a proud moment and we’re very pleased we stuck to our deadline. No doubt there have been some Londoners wondering why capsules have been bobbing up and down the Thames periodically for the last three years, but it’s gratifying to know that our guests and the environment will enjoy an upgraded experience over the summer and beyond.’
‘This project underlines Merlin's strategy of continuous investment in all its attractions, and the company's commitment to the UK tourism and leisure market. It is also a huge testament to the talent and industry we have here in Britain, with the large majority of companies working with us being local UK businesses. It’s very impressive to know that we have so much resource available and that we’ve all worked together to make this UK landmark even better.’