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Queensland Alumina Ltd (QAL) High Voltage Reticulation Upgrade, Australia

QAL's Gladstone refinery has been operating since 1967 and is one of the largest alumina refineries in the world. The refinery’s 11 kV distribution network is one of Queensland’s largest and most complex for an industrial plant. This project involved converting the ageing network to a new distribution arrangement that will meet QAL’s needs for safety in operation, security of supply, and scope for future expansion.

Aurecon undertook the initial options analysis and feasibility studies for the project and delivered the definitive engineering phase, project implementation and successful handover. Aurecon worked closely with QAL to develop the preferred solution, which included a simplified 11 kV network arrangement. New 11 kV switchboards enabled the pairing of QAL’s incoming transformers to address fault levels and security issues, as well as interconnection with QAL’s on-site generation. The main Substation 42 was also linked to the newer Substation 42W.

“The implementation of this project has provided QAL with a safer and more robust 11 kV distribution system and considerably reduced the system’s risk profile to the benefit of the company” said Russell Sankey, Superintendent Electrical/Instrument Engineering and Maintenance Services, QAL.