Author Archives: Natalie Hadley

Winds of Change Afoot

By Lester Foxall, CEO

The countdown to net zero carbon emissions in New Zealand has now truly begun with the passing of The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act in 2019 and the establishment of an independent Climate Change Commission.

2021 is viewed as a transitional period to get the new provisions up and running, with implications for all industries as we head towards the 100% renewable energy target for 2035.

New Zealand’s commitment towards a clean, green, and sustainable environment is one of the first things that separates us from many countries across the globe. We are in a very fortunate position with several renewable energy sources at our disposal. Investments in hydro, geothermal and wind plants have positioned us incredibly well to shift our energy reliance towards sustainable sources.

New technologies are creating further opportunities in the energy sector and renewable energy sources will play a significant role in decarbonising and achieving our climate goals.

Putting climate risk awareness at the heart of decision making and embedding it into our strategy and culture at all levels, is an important initiative and a reflection of where the world is going so, I believe we are going to see a lot more demand for projects of this nature.

At Connell we have seen a real opportunity to diversify into the renewable energy sector. Our skills are certainly transferable and if tenders for these projects are not awarded on lowest price, renewable energy certainly fits with our strategic plan.

The power of wind

Wind power is considered a clean, effective source of sustainable renewable energy with significant growth over the last decade. It is expected that most investments into the renewable energy sector in the near term will go towards the creation of wind farms. At Connell we have already begun to feel the effect of these investments.

Both the Turitea Wind Farm near Palmerston North, and Waipipi Wind Farm just up the road in South Taranaki, proved to be excellent projects for Connell and has enhanced our profile in the renewable energy sector.

Our sortie into renewables continues to gain gusto with the recently secured Harapaki Wind Farm project in Napier that will commence in early 2022. Set to be the second largest of its kind in the country, Harapaki will host 41 turbines generating enough renewable energy to power 70,000 average households.

Invitations for the Mt Cass Wind Farm in the South Island have already been received from key clients, with site visits already underway. Ongoing discussions with Ventura Energy and Ventus (Australia) regarding the Taharoa near Kawhia and the Kaimai Ranges wind farms, will continue until tender documentation is released.

Other renewable energy

In addition to the various wind farm projects across the country, Connell continues to explore other renewable energy avenues.

The large geothermal facility at Tauhara has commenced and the civil related works will come to the market later this year. Geothermal energy projects like that at Tauhara, set to be completed in 2023, are considered our best low-carbon renewable electricity provider. Not reliant on weather conditions, geothermal plants can operate 24/7 and are a robust way to transition away from fossil fuels.

Hydro also continues to provide us with another income stream, having worked on a selection of smaller projects this year for Mercury Energy.

With Governments purge on climate change, at Connell we keep abreast of all forms of technology knowing it will soon be a prerequisite to produce an annual company carbon footprint document to support our focus towards providing a cleaner environment.

As we continue to build resilience, the importance of good governance cannot be overestimated.

On Site: Mangere Substation

Another job we are currently busy with is at Mangere Substation. This job involves excavation, ground improvement and construction of a new foundation pad for the prefab ODID building.

At the end of the ODID project the existing equipment will be decommissioned and removed.

Girls with Hi-Viz

In conjunction with Connexis, last week we had the privilege of hosting the Girls With Hi-Viz day.

A group of young ambitious women from Putaruru College paid us a visit to learn about the great opportunities within our industry.

The day consisted of a combined presentation from Connexis and ourselves, a site visit and finished off with a digger school where our own female apprentice pipe layer coached the girls on the basic operations of a 2.5 tonne excavator.

Rotokauri Bulk Watermain – MOVIE

Construction of new Bulk Watermain – Rotokauri, Hamilton.

Expected finish date: July/August 2018. Client: Hamilton City Council.

Key project features include: Approx. 827m of open trenching, 1898m of horizontal directional drilling, a sleeve under the railway and six connections to existing pipework.

Ngaruawahia Stormwater Upgrade – MOVIE

Stormwater Upgrade – Ngaruawahia.

Expected finish date: February 2018. Client: Waikato District Council.

Key project features include: Installation of a new 600mm and 750mm diameter stormwater pipeline and removal of a short length of existing concrete stormwater pipeline and catchpit reconnections, approx. 700m in length, installation of four new concrete manholes.

Great Feedback Following Another Job Well Done

We recently received this feedback from another satisfied Connells client.

Hi Lester and Wayne,

We would really like to pass on our thanks and gratitude for the work that Connells, and in particular yourself and Wayne, undertook for us installing the control boxes at our Bioreactor site.

Right from the outset when we met with you, you appreciated our predicament and had a very professional and positive attitude. At this time we really did need that guidance and experience from you guys that you knew how to do the job – as it was obvious that due to the unseasonally high intensity rainfall that the water table was an issue that we were not equipped to handle.

The install yesterday went better than we had expected, or really dared to dream. This was basically due to the great planning and experience of Connells – we are exceptionally relieved to have the boxes now installed and our research project can start to get back on track. Wayne did a fantastic job with the project. Realising that we were under the pump of needing the install he provided a start date without having all the resources in place but he knew he would make it work!

The Safety and Health and Project documentation was first class – thanks to Val. You guys were always willing to communicate and explain how you were going to undertake the project and gave us a lot of confidence that we had the right team.

I am going to sort some photos out from yesterday to share with you – but first job was to thank you and your team!

Regards and Thanks,
Greg and the LAL Team
Aqualinc Research Ltd