‘Micropiling’ technique secures FNQ power towers

Powerlink has completed a $6 million mountainside project to maintain the transmission line connecting Barron Gorge Power Station to the grid in Far North Queensland.

Helicopters, all-terrain vehicles and specialised equipment were used to complete maintenance work on 18 electricity transmission towers along the line near Cairns, supporting 17 jobs in the process.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the 4km of transmission line was located in very steep terrain in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area adjacent to the Kuranda Scenic Railway line.

“Some of these 50-year-old towers were built on a 37-degree incline, with a three-metre difference in the height of legs on one of the towers,” he said.

Works primarily focused on strengthening tower foundations via an innovative technique called ‘micropiling’.

This involved building new foundations in the ground with a very high degree of accuracy close to each tower leg, then bolting custom-fabricated, heavy-duty steel plates to the foundations and towers.

The State Government says Queensland’s publicly-owned electricity companies – Powerlink, Ergon, Energex, CS Energy, Stanwell Corp and CleanCo – will invest more than $2.2 billion on capital works in 2019-20, supporting up to 4900 jobs.

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