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O'Donnell Griffin completes major electrical upgrade at Warragamba Dam


A substantial upgrade of ageing electrical systems at Warragamba Dam, Sydney’s main water supply reservoir, has just been successfully completed by electrical engineering company O’Donnell Griffin.

The $23 million electrical facelift involved an overhaul of the 49-year-old dam’s systems and was based on upgrading health and safety systems for dam works, says O’Donnell Griffin NSW State Manager, Mr Phil Tilden.

The work entailed replacement of all the lighting in the galleys to give minimum 80 lux levels at all points, installation of a new radio phone communications system, new switchboards and MCC panels cabling and support structure system.

More than 25 ODG electricians were involved in the two year project which involved the replacement of some 294 light switches, 155 general power outlets, 1030 fluorescent light fittings and a total of 170 kilometres of cabling, he said. The works also included the installation of a sophisticated wireless telephone system using the Kirk 3000 technology so that employees can communicate throughout the site, including when working in underwater tunnels.

O’Donnell Griffin is also about to commence a separate $3.0 million contract to refurbish the electrical system of the dam’s original radial and drum gates, which are opened when excessive spill is required, such as in the case of floods, says Mr Tilden.

Warragamba Dam, 65 kilometres west of Sydney, is the city’s primary water source and provides 80 per cent of the Sydney water supply. It is due to celebrate its 50th anniversary in late 2010 and was initiated in 1948 as a response to a series of severe droughts. Its building took 12 years.

The ODG works at Warragamba are part of a growing folio of water-related contracts for the company.

O’Donnell Griffin is part of the Electrical & Communications division of Norfolk, an ASX listed company.

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