TransGrid meets the Armidale challenge

30/04/2014

​Occasionally the building and maintenance of electricity infrastructure throws up challenges for project teams – requiring them to come up with innovative ideas to achieve the desired on-time, within-budget outcome.

One such challenge was faced by TransGrid officials at the Armidale Substation in the state’s northern tablelands, which was in need of a replacement Number 1 reactor.

“It’s always a balancing act when you are installing a new piece of equipment, while dismantling the existing compound,” said Senior Project Manager Denis Novakovic.

TransGrid’s commitment to efficiencies and ensuring safe and reliable supply of electricity was the primary reason for the replacement, rather than returning the aged equipment to service.

“We used every project management tool at our disposal to achieve the desired timing and efficiency gains,” Mr Novakovic said.

“I’m pleased to say that our Capital Program Delivery and Network Services and Operations project staff kept their focus despite time constraints and paid great attention to even the smallest of details.”

Among the challenges the site team had to meet were the logistics and staging of a new reactor unit delivery and placement within the physical constraints on site as well as regular consultation and co-ordination with the contractors on timing and completion of critical milestones, together with the associated outage constraints.

“Only through proper relationship management with the contractor and a practical attitude of the core project team was the project able to be delivered ahead of time and on budget,” Mr Novakovic added.

TransGrid is the major high-voltage electricity transmission network service provider in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory and its role is to provide safe, secure, reliable, efficient and world class transmission services to New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and the National Electricity Market.

The network provides an essential service to both the largest state capital city in Australia and the national capital. More than 7 million consumers rely on TransGrid’s network to provide them with the electricity supply on which they have come to depend.