In September 2017 BMCA was approached by EvoEnergy for assistance in surveilling and providing engineering advice on the civil construction operations associated with the upgrading of electricity services.

After a number of issues with damage to underground services from civil contractors undertaking Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) work on behalf of EvoEnergy, they decided that specialist civil construction expertise may assist in reducing the risk of damage and BMCA were the “go-to” solution.

The first two projects for BMCA assistance are to increase the power supply to substations where current capacity urgently requires augmentation to minimise risk of power outages.

Both projects were awarded to Shepherd Electrical and are to employ HDD to allow for the installation of 11KV cables. Works include road crossings and bores through areas with multiple existing underground services along the route.

The HDD work requires careful planning, checking and monitoring to avoid damage to the existing services from the drilling operations. Temporary Traffic Management and protection of excavations also requires constant monitoring in areas with heavy pedestrian usage.

The ANU feeder project is to provide two 11KV cables from a substation at Kingston Foreshores to another at the National Library. This involves drilling in the nationally significant Parliamentary Zone with the route traversing Bowen Park to cross Kings Avenue and pass along King Edward Terrace past several National attractions.

BMCA has provided a full time Surveillance Officer to assist in monitoring works and issues in this highly sensitive area, report on ground conditions and release witness and hold points for the works.

The second project is in Gungahlin and involves installing an 11KV underground cable along Anthony Rolfe Avenue / Mirrabei Drive from Hamer Street Switching Station to Gold Creek Substation. The cable is to be installed in existing conduits for some of the length with about 30% of the route to be Horizontal Directional Drilling. BMCA are providing a Surveillance Officer and a Senior Civil Engineer on this project. Use of the existing conduits has proved problematic as blockages have been discovered due to previous poor practices which have required excavation and boring to unblock.

Both projects are expected to take in the order of 3 months to complete with a number of similar projects likely in the future.

BMCA have forged a good working relationship with EvoEnergy to date and look forward to building on the lessons learnt and successes of the first two projects.