HDD to underground electricity network

The initiative is part of Energex ‘s Community Powerline Enhancement Program (CPEP) in which South East Queensland councils and Energex jointly fund the under-grounding of existing overhead electricity networks.

The program’s main focus is under-grounding or bundling existing powerlines in sensitive locations such as major street shopping precincts, sensitive environmental and heritage areas, locations with significant vegetation, high pedestrian or vehicular areas, and in communities abutting bays, rivers and coastlines.

Because of the sensitive locations being undergrounded, horizontal directional drilling (HDD) techniques are being employed to minimise disruption. A spokesperson from Energex told Trenchless Australasia that HDD has primarily been approved for use around businesses.

The spokesperson added the company is awaiting approval from MainRoads to use HDD under major intersections and roads.

In Rosewood, more than 300 m of overhead powerlines on John Street will be replaced with underground cables.

Work is planned to commence in April 2012 and will involve the installation of underground cables on the eastern side of John Street.

After the underground cables are installed and operational, Energex will remove the existing overhead powerlines and poles. Weather permitting, the works are expected to be completed by August 2012.

This will be the second CPEP project in Ipswich city this year with parts of the Brisbane Street Ipswich overhead network placed underground recently.

The CPEP is the first of five segments in a planned $A100 million, five-year program aimed at reducing the visual impact of existing overhead powerlines.

Among the other five programs is a blackspots program which will target electricity poles and powerlines consistently damaged during traffic accidents.

This John Street project will follow more than $A500,000 worth of power upgrades in the Rosewood area in recent times.

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