EnergyConnect big kit arrival at Port Kembla

First big electrical kit shipped in for Australia’s largest transmission project

01 November 2022

The first big electrical kit for the nation’s largest transmission project has arrived in Australia by ship as construction of the $1.8 billion EnergyConnect interconnector powers ahead.

Two large transformers have arrived at Port Kembla aboard AAL Fremantle as the first major electrical equipment for construction of the 700km long project from Wagga Wagga to the South Australian border.

The main tanks of the transformers weighing more than 118 tonnes each as well as components and accessories in 52 crates were unloaded at Port Kembla after being shipped from China.

The transformers will be transported by heavy road transport vehicles to the project construction site in Buronga near Mildura.

“We are building the energy superhighway and EnergyConnect – the nation’s biggest electricity transmission project – is also the largest ever undertaken by Transgrid,” Executive General Manager of Major Projects Gordon Taylor said.

“Our construction partner SecureEnergy JV started work on the 135km western section of the interconnector in June with a 30ha worker accommodation camp and laydown with office facilities at Buronga, near Mildura, with concrete foundations now being poured for the first of 1,500 steel towers.

“The arrival of this first big electrical kit adds even more momentum to this once-in-a-generation project which will enable sharing of energy between NSW, Victoria and South Australia for the first time.

“It means we are still on target for first power from EnergyConnect by the second half of 2024.”

Mr Taylor said the transformers are a key part of the synchronous condensers which will provide reactive power compensation on the 330kV system.

“Managing reactive power is essential for the connection of renewable generation such as wind and solar farms onto the network and that is why this project is a key enabler for Australia’s decarbonisation future,” he said.

“Andritz Hydro GmbH is providing four synchronous condensers for EnergyConnect, two for the Buronga substation near Mildura, and two for the Dinawan substation west of Wagga Wagga. Each of the synchronous condensers is rated to 120 MVA capacity.   

“The synchronous condensers are being built in Austria and will be shipped to Australia in parts and then assembled and commissioned on site.

“The 120MVA transformers are being built by Siemens in China and we are delighted with the arrival of the first two transformers for this critical energy project which will enable the integration of renewable generation and help the Federal Government achieve its climate change targets.

“EnergyConnect will also save NSW customers $180 million per year, create up to 1,500 jobs and contribute $4 billion in net economic benefits.”

Transgrid media contact:

Mark Nolan 0429 047 136