2013-14 has seen an improvement in business confidence within New Zealand, and this has also generally been represented in the utilities space.
This comes off the back of the Canterbury earthquake rebuild, the ongoing broadband roll-out, and sustained capital works programs from the Local Network Operators.
In addition to the work in Canterbury, Auckland is having a small residential building boom, and this has had a positive impact on the local economy and outlook.
This increase in general business confidence is welcomed following the difficult period we have had since 2010.
Major trenchless activities in the last twelve months
Targeted review of qualifications
This is largest review of the country’s qualifications that has been undertaken, and a large amount of work, spanning the last two years, has been done to align and streamline qualifications.
This review has provided the opportunity to restructure the delivery of utility qualifications, including introducing a new trenchless qualification stream into the infrastructure qualifications pathway – the New Zealand Certificate in Infrastructure works (Trenchless Installations).
The core of the existing HDD qualification will sit within this new qualification as an endorsement.
Over time more trenchless methods will be added into qualification.
One of the benefits of the new framework is that all of the skills that are common between the roading, civil and the utility sectors are all included in earlier combined qualifications, (Levels 1-3) enabling the ease of training staff for organisations that carry out civil and utility work, and make it much quicker for employees working in one sector to move across to another sector.
The New Zealand Trenchless Technology Forums, hosted by ProjectMax, have been ongoing, with another three forums held in Auckland over 2013-14.
Attendance and participation at these events has continued to be excellent with up to 75 delegates attending and presenting with a good diversity of players from across the industry including utility engineers, contractors, material suppliers and consultants.
Ultra-fast broadband roll-out
Installation of fibre is in progress through the country, and a number of HDD contractors are involved in this work.
Canterbury earthquake recovery
The CCTV investigations of the drainage networks are finally winding up, and the rebuilding of the utilities is well under-way.
Pipe bursting, HDD and structural lining are all methods being utilised in the rebuild.
Technologies in use in NZ
- Horizontal directional drilling: HDD has had an ongoing roll as part of the broadband roll-out.
Companies have continued to stretch the boundaries of bigger and longer shots.
The first intersect drill is expected within the next 18 months for a natural gas pipeline.
- Pipeline rehabilitation (lining): this has continued to be a very competitive market.
Canterbury earthquake rebuild continues to provide a significant portion of the market.
There is an increasing use of fibre reinforced liners for large diameter pipelines.
Fold and form liners are now competing for market share.
- Hydro excavation: the use of hydro excavation has continued to grow.
The use of hydro excavation in built up environments for the broadband roll-out and the use of this method for service of location has been the principal drivers
There are a number of trenchless events and initiatives planned for the coming 12 months, including:
- WaterNZ Conference – ASTT Technical Paper Stream: The ASTT will again have a technical paper stream at the 2014 conference in Hamilton September 2014.
- New Zealand Trenchless Technology Forums: Ongoing since November 2007, three further forums will again be hosted in July, November 2014, and March 2015.
- Trenchless Qualifications Development: this includes drain cleaning, Hydro-excavation and CCTV.