Sunday, August 12th, 2012
The Adelaide Desalination Plant Project provided electrical contractor O’Donnell Griffin with many significant challenges including installing over 20,000 meters of high voltage cable with the longest continuous run being 800 metres.

This project was one of eight projects completed by the states best electrical and communications contractors, whose achievements were recognised at the National Electrical and Communications Associations (NECA) Awards of Excellence, held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Friday night (10 August).

Other demanding projects included the Mini Wind Turbine Trial, the Munno Para Railway Station, Berri Pumping Station Upgrade, Federal Hotel, Tatiara Civic Centre, Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, Adelaide Film and Screen and the Youth Training Centre at Cavan. The Awards also recognised three of the industry’s top apprentices for their outstanding achievements in their chosen career. (See Apprentice Awards release)

Before the winners of the NECA Excellence Awards and Apprentice Awards programmes were announced, the recently appointed Small Business Commissioner, Mike Sinkunas, set the tone when he addressed an audience of some 420 guests, industry representatives and NECA members. Mr Sinkunas spoke about the role of the Office of the Small Business Commission and how they can assist small businesses in today’s competitive and challenging business environment.

The NECA Excellence Awards give small and large electrical and communications businesses the opportunity to continually raise the bar for their industry and receive accolades in front of their peers. Winners demonstrated their ability to provide innovative solutions to major challenges and successfully and efficiently complete their project contracts. They are now automatically eligible for the National Excellence Awards, which will be announced in Brisbane on 29 November 2012.

The NECA Apprentice Awards recognise the State’s best electrical and communications apprentices. Applicants were assessed on their technical abilities, general knowledge, attitude and desire to succeed in their career. The winners will now represent South Australia at the national level where they will be competing for the title of the NECA Apprentice of the Year Award, in addition to many valuable prizes and the chance to become an ambassador for the Australian electrotechnology industry.

Larry Moore, Executive Director of NECA South Australia, said, “What we are seeing year-on-year is a constant raising of the bar by our members. This year is no exception. There is innovation, quality workmanship, health and safety achievements and excellent examples of how good communication and project management add up to a job well done.”

The winners of the 2012 NECA Excellence Awards and their projects are:

Domestic – Small project
Winner: Energy Scene – Solar & Energy management project

What started as a casual conversation with a client about domestic power consumption soon became an energy management challenge. The process began with an audit of the client’s residence, including looking at 56kw per day power usage to service the four bedrooms, home office, air-conditioning and pool equipment. The solution involved installing a high performance 15kw Grid Connect Solar Power System, replacing all low voltage down-lights with advanced LED fittings and better management of overall energy usage. The high quality installation has already earned their client a credit on their electricity bill, with an expected return on investment within five years.

Domestic – Medium Project
Winner: Rainbow Electrical – Hurtle Square Residence

The project required installing separate metering for each tenancy with a shared four car garage and lift. Other aspects of the scope included distribution boards, MATV, C-Bus and Intercom systems, installation of LED lighting and movement sensor lights, plus upgrading the communication system from cat 2 telephone wiring to cat 5e voice and data cable. Challenges included developing innovative solutions to optimise installation through the building’s limited cavity space.

Industrial – Small Project (less than $500,000)
Winner: O’Donnell Griffin – Mini Wind Turbine Trial Project

A South Australian Government initiative, O’Donnell Griffin was given the task as lead contractor for the installation and selection of the best site. This required detailed investigation and council meetings plus environmental checks including soil and coastal wind modelling tests. The trial required installing four types of turbines to be used for comparisons and education to demonstrate the viability of this energy source. The scope included installation of the four 15m poles, the turbines, all cabling, control gear, data monitoring, 200hr commissioning test, maintenance and a comprehensive report for future operation.

Industrial – Medium Project (between $500,000-$2,000,000)
Winner: Nilsen (SA) – Munno Para Railway Station

The project included the demolition of the existing station and construction of a new station with no re-use of existing services. Innovations included ensuring no electrical cables, conduits or cable ladders are visible to the public, substantially reducing risk of vandalism, and installing an earthing system for precast platform sections. This is the first station to be completed under the electrification of Adelaide’s railway system and Nilsen’s biggest challenge was meeting the deadline to coincide with the electrification of the Gawler line.

Industrial – Large Project (over $2,000,000)
Winner: O’Donnell Griffin – Adelaide Desalination Plant project

This is an enormous 100 gigalitres of water per annum plant , and the sheer size and complexity of the installation demanded ‘outside the square’ solutions to met the project requirements. The challenging scope included over 20,000m of high voltage cable with the longest run at 800m, 300,000m of low voltage cables?and 200 electrical panels, over 500 HV terminations (with zero failures), thousands of metres of cable management system, and installations and termination of over 3,500 instrumentation cables.

Commercial – Small Project (less than $500,000)
Winner: Deane’s Electrical Services – Housing Industry Association Office Fit-out

This project was undertaken in three stages, with level one completed first, then the ground floor completed in two separate stages. Scheduling the electrical works required considerable planning to ensure no interruption to the Housing Industry staff and daily office operations, and to ensure staged cross overs were managed smoothly. Other challenges included gutting and refitting and managing the limited access to the site and ceilings.

Commercial – Medium Project (between $500,000-$2,000,000)
Winner: Tyrone Electrical Services – Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer

Tyrone Electrical Services was contracted for the supply and installation of all electrical connections and power distribution. The comprehensive scope included body and cardiac protection services, Ausco nurse call system, back-up standby generator for essential services, lightning protection, access, and security control systems. The scope also required significant illumination and ups services for the centre’s unique, weather resistant, aluminium Helipad.

Commercial – Large Project (over $2,000,000)
Winner: PSG Boffa Russo – Youth Training Centre

The Centre has 11 buildings including accommodation for 60, admin and recreational areas plus medical and kitchen facilities. Pacific Services Group was awarded the electrical installation including, consumer mains, general power and lighting, ups systems, communications, CCTV, MATV, audio visual, and access control systems. Due to the nature of the facility there was also a high level security system, and requirement that all installation work was tamper and vandal proof.


Contact Profile

National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA)

NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.
Donna Beech - Marketing Manager, NECA South Australia
P: 08 8272 2966
M: 0402 384 999


NECA, National Electrical and Communications Association, electrical contractors, awards, South Australia



More Formats

View QR Code