Technology developed and installed by Hawker Siddeley Switchgear Australia is ensuring that one of the world’s largest coal-handling facilities has the power it needs to further boost capacity.
Since 1908, the Port of Newcastle in New South Wales has been at the heart of Australia’s coal export industry and in 2009 Port Waratah Coal Services loaded a record 92.8 million tonnes.
The company plans to increase capacity to 133 million tonnes by the end of 2011 but its efforts were being hampered by old, oil-filled circuit breakers that had reached the end of their economic life.
Explained Wally Dekker, Business Development Manager at HSSA: “Oil-filled circuit breakers that no longer function at specific levels can also present a safety risk, as they are unable to clear a short circuit in the required time frame and can be susceptible to explosion or fire.”
He went on to say that HSSA was called upon to retrofit 33 outdated 11kV oil-filled circuit breakers with the latest vacuum-type units to enhance electrical system reliability at the port.
The retrofitting of the new equipment – which was manufactured in the UK – has also improved safety for staff and reduced the risk of damage to vital equipment.
The work was completed in two stages. The first saw the replacement of 18 units with the company’s acclaimed HSS-HG12 units, followed by the retrofitting of the remaining 15 units.
Continued Wally: “Retrofitting is a cost-effective and reliable process which reduces maintenance and operating costs, decreases down time and most importantly improves systems reliability and operator’s safety.
“We are delighted to have been given this opportunity to help a major contributor to the Australian economy and to demonstrate our ability to provide cost-effective switchgear solutions for such large-scale operations,” he added.