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Company is a-buzz about Bowen Basin

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Located in Mackay, close to the Bowen Basin coalfields, Ampcontrol’s manufacturing and service facility is undergoing extensions that will see factory floor space increased by 50% to 1700m2.

An additional 40t crane is also part of the extension.

Employing more than 20 staff, including five apprentices, the facility can service a wide range of high voltage switchgear and systems. It boasts a high degree of engineering proficiency within the workforce.

An indication of the work Mackay’s expansion will accommodate is a four-year contract for the refurbishment of a number of open cut substations for a long established mine in the area.

Each of the substations, some of which are 25-years-old, are being progressively overhauled. Air circuit breakers are replaced, control equipment updated, fences/access improved and transformers overhauled.

A recently supplied package of electrical equipment for a rapidly expanding mine in the Bowen Basin just included an above ground relocatable 25MVA substation, underground switchboard and underground conveyor starter.

The underground mine workings are gradually out-distancing the original point of supply so an 11kV feed cable from the new 66/11kV substation, positioned on the surface above the future development, will be dropped down a bore hole to the switchboard below.

The four-outlet 11kV unit will supply the conveyor starter and other longwall and reticulation systems throughout the mine.

It is expected Mackay personnel will assist in commissioning this electrical distribution system.

Meanwhile, David Dowell, previously with Baldwin & Francis in the UK has taken on the role of Mackay service manager. He says the extension to the facilities together with expansion of the engineering and service capability will provide customers with even better support.

“It is our intention to continue to grow our engineering and support services with the appropriate facilities and benchmark practices to underpin the supply, installation, commissioning and backup of Ampcontrol products including high voltage maintenance and testing as well as transformer services,” Dowell says.

The installation last year of a new drying oven for transformer coil windings together with the new facilities will allow the size of manageable transformers to be increased to 25MVA at 66kV.

As well as core and coil dry-outs, workshop overhauls can include tank repairs, cooling fin repair/replacement, replacement of silica gel/breathers, maintenance of force cooling systems, bushing replacements, core inspection following oil test results and transformer audits.

In addition to workshop facilities, the operation can perform field service and repairs to transformers and switchyards, substations and motor starters. In cooperation with Ampcontrol group member company, CMA in Moranbah, cable repair and maintenance capabilities are also available.

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