Out with the old and in with the new! Another milestone reached for Zinfra at Richmond with the removal of a 150MVA transformer after 50 years of providing power to Melbourne.
AusNet Services is ensuring Melbourne’s long term security of supply by rebuilding the three key inner city terminal stations: Richmond, West Melbourne and Brunswick (completed March 2017). The Richmond Terminal Station Rebuild involves replacing transformers and switchgear on site to reduce the station footprint – all whilst the facility remains operational throughout the works.
It only took Zinfra 1.5 weeks to remove the transformer from service, which included overhead powerline disconnection, de-oiling, low voltage cable decommissioning and breakdown and shipping offsite. The unit will now be dismantled and scrapped with its oil recycled for use on other transformers, its copper melted down for use in cables/electronics and its core stamped into smaller transformers. This aligns with Zinfra’s core values around environmental sustainability, ensuring that when Zinfra disposes of these transformers, nothing is wasted or sent to landfill.
Zinfra has been working with its key partners to rebuild the transformer enclosure ready for the new transformer to take its place, which will see a 40 per cent increase in capacity of supply from this transformer alone. Once re-installed, Zinfra will be responsible for all overhead line connections, testing and commissioning to get the new unit operational, allowing the final transformer to be removed in the rebuild sequence at Richmond. Zinfra is extremely proud of its team in maintaining uninterrupted power supply to AusNet’s clients during this process without a single human error tripping power to the site throughout the project. The project started for Zinfra in 2015 with AusNet performing preparatory works as early as 2012, but Zinfra hopes to be clear of the site in 2019 pending operational requirements from the client.