A project to improve the electrical infrastructure and provide for industrial expansion and economic growth is underway in Washdyke, Timaru.
Alpine Energy is laying four new high voltage underground cable circuits from the Transpower Timaru Substation on Old North Road to Alpine’s site on Seadown Road. Each circuit is about 3.7km in length and consists of three single core cables, having cross-sectional area of 1000 mm2, requiring 45km of cable in total to complete the project.
Once completed, the new infrastructure will provide consumers in the general Washdyke industrial and outlying areas with a substantial increase in available capacity, improved reliability and security of supply for the next 15-20 years.
Alpine Energy CEO Andrew Tombs says the project is a significant investment in South Canterbury’s future and provides vital infrastructure for the continued economic development of the region. Mr Tombs says the project will enable opportunities for new businesses and for existing businesses to expand their operations.
“Over the last few years there have been land-use changes in the wider Washdyke area. More land is being zoned for industrial development and with that comes more demand for electricity.”
The project, carried out by NETcon (Alpine’s subsidiary electrical contracting company), is expected to be completed in early April.
There is no planned disruption to power supply in the Washdyke area as part of the project.
Energy-efficiency will be one of the key features of the newly consolidated Alpine Energy, NETcon offices to be built on the company’s current site in Washdyke.
The community-owned network company this week handed the construction site over to contractors and Meadows Road neighbours, Thompson Construction and Engineering (TCE), for initial earth works on what will be a two-storey 3,000sqm administrative building – incorporating a communications tower and yard operations for NETcon.
The building will consolidate more than 170 Alpine Energy and NETcon staff and operations into one main office block, making it one of the most significant mixed office and industrial builds in the growing Washdyke industrial area.
It will sit behind the existing NETcon building on the company’s 5.5 hectare site off Meadows Road. The companies are currently spread across three buildings and several portacoms on the site.
The new $12 million development will also include additional parking facilities and is scheduled for completion by early 2018.
Alpine Energy Chief Executive Andrew Tombs said the current Alpine Energy offices would eventually be dismantled and removed to provide additional yard space while the existing NETcon buildings would be retained and used for training purposes.
“We’ve also removed a number of sheds that were on the build site and donated them to local charitable organisations, so where we can we are adopting a sustainable approach to repurposing the older buildings as potentially reusable community assets.”
Tombs said the Boards of Alpine Energy and NETcon had taken a long term view. “This development is aimed at ‘future proofing’ our business taking into account growth and staff expansion in a building that is energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
“While the building is industrial in nature it is also modern with its use of open and shared meeting spaces, ensuring staff will work in a comfortable, efficient environment.”
TCE construction and design manager, John Wilson, said the approach to the Alpine Energy office design had been a collaborative one. “We’ve effectively taken a fairly simple, industrially slanted concept and refined it into a modern, purpose built landmark.”
Tombs said it was pleasing to be able to use local expertise in the build of the project, supporting the company’s ethos of contributing back to the community. “This is the end result of a six-month process during which we carefully evaluated capabilities and logistics. In that time we’ve built a great working relationship with the contractor and we are all looking forward to seeing the building take shape over the coming months.”
Tombs said the company had also received pleasing levels of enquiry around initial leasing opportunities on 11,000sqm site beside Elginshire Street, which has been earmarked as a new light industrial park.
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Alpine Energy is sending staff from its subsidiary company NETcon to help fellow lines companies to restore power in earthquake affected areas.
This means some secheduled work is being postponed. We will be informing customers over the coming days if the planned power outage for their area is cancelled. Customers who don't hear from us about a cancellation should assume the power will be turned off as advised.
If you have any questions or are unsure about what's happening in your area, please call us on 03 687 4300 or 0800 66 11 77.
For immediate use
20 October 2016
Alpine Energy has confirmed that the company’s pole inspection, maintenance and replacement plan remains on schedule.
All wooden and concrete poles have an expected lifespan and there is a continuous inspection programme in place as part of the overall asset management and maintenance plan for the company. There are also other poles in the community supporting streetlight and phone infrastructure and these are managed and maintained by other entities.
There are about 40,000 wooden and concrete poles within the Alpine Energy geographical area. All poles are inspected and assessed for timing of replacement based on factors such as the condition of the pole, age, location and environmental factors.
Alpine Energy Chief Executive Andrew Tombs can reassure the community that there are only five poles that have been red-tagged as part of the normal inspection programme. All are scheduled for replacement within the three month regulated timeframe.
“This number is well within what you would statistically expect given the total number of poles in our area and all the factors that are considered in the inspection and maintenance programme.
“We have systems in place if anyone within our community has any concerns about any particular pole. This is something we take seriously. It’s also why we today reached out to colleagues in other areas to discuss this matter. We come together as industry colleagues around the South Island on a regular basis and so we’re often discussing matters like this.”