Buronga concrete pour

Big concrete pours set the foundations for major EnergyConnect substation

19 April 2023

Construction of one of the biggest substations in the Southern Hemisphere has reached a major milestone with crews working around the clock to build the foundations for some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated heavy duty electrical equipment at Buronga near Mildura.

Transgrid and its construction partner SecureEnergy are building the 700km NSW section of the $1.8 billion EnergyConnect project from Wagga Wagga to the South Australian border, with a connection to Red Cliffs in Victoria.

The night sky at Buronga was lit up overnight as subcontractors Nathan Contractors and Mawsons Concrete & Quarries poured 850 cubic metres of concrete during a complex 11-hour operation.

The team effort saw 15 concrete trucks loaded at Mawsons’ plants at Buronga and Mildura, with about 50 workers involved in the pour for the foundations for two synchronous condensers which will sit at the heart of the new 16ha Buronga substation.

Transgrid Project Director Stephen Troughton said: “We are getting on with the job of building the critical EnergyConnect interconnector which will integrate renewables into the grid and allow energy sharing between NSW, Victoria and South Australia for the first time.

“The Buronga substation will be one of the largest and most sophisticated in the Southern Hemisphere and act as the main hub for the connection between the three states.

“The EnergyConnect project is providing a major boost to businesses and jobs in communities along the 700km project alignment with more than $18 million spent on local suppliers to date including Mawsons Concrete & Quarries and the Garraway Group at Mildura.”

Mawsons Western Operations Manager Concrete Gary Harvey said the amount of concrete involved was the equivalent of 120 truckloads.

“It is a real feather in our cap to be involved in such a big project as EnergyConnect and it is a very proud moment for us,” he said.

“We had to supply concrete at a certain temperature which was under 23 degrees, and with the number of trucks involved, it was always going to be a night pour.”

Based in NSW & Queensland, Nathan Contractors measured the amount of concrete required and managed the pour for SecureEnergy, supplying 16 concreters, some of whom were local.

Nathan Contractors Site Supervisor Matt Jobson said it was a time-consuming deep pour that went well.

“We are very proud to be involved in such a great project as this one.”

An additional 850 cubic metres of concrete is scheduled to be poured next week to complete the foundations for the synchronous condensers. 

The two 120 MVA synchronous condensers are used for system stability and circuit strength to the grid, playing a key role in moving Australia to cleaner renewable energy.

Mawsons is also supplying concrete for the footings to support towers currently being erected at Buronga, providing a further boost to the local business.

The Buronga substation on Arumpo Road will comprise complex equipment including the two synchronous condensers, five phase shifting transformers, three power transformers and four shunt reactors.

This month crews at the Buronga substation have also carried out foundation works for the transformers that accompany the synchronous condensers, and the first of the five phase shifting transformers. 

The first phase shifting transformer will shortly arrive in Australia from South Korea. The specialised type of transformer controls the flow of active power on transmission networks.

The Buronga site also comprises an accommodation camp for 340 workers and a laydown to store equipment and materials.

For more information, visit the EnergyConnect page. 



Transgrid media contact:

Mark Nolan 0429 047 136