Powerco scoops top environmental energy award

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Powerco's commitment to caring for the environment has seen it win the Environmental Initiative of the Year section of the 2015 Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards, announced last night.

(Left to right) Award category sponsor representative, David Taylor (Executive Manager Strategy & Development, Transfield Worley Power Services), with Powerco team members Rebecca Dearden, Don Elers, Fiona Ewing, Karen Logue and Ayesha Cording with the award.

The award recognises Powerco’s Gas environmental programme.

Powerco Group Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Manager Fiona Ewing said it was an honour to accept the award, especially considering the quality of the other finalists.

“At Powerco, we are committed to caring for the environment. We understand it is everyone’s responsibility and we promote this message to staff,” Mrs Ewing said.

“If everyone does their bit – at work and at home – the environment will be in a better shape for generations to come. From our side, we are working to strengthen and improve our environmental performance.”

Mrs Ewing said it had been a particularly busy time for Powerco’s Gas Team of late.

The team completed the complex Takapu Aerial Crossing Refurbishment with no harmful impacts to the environment despite challenging circumstances.

The gas pipeline was installed in the early 1970s and is suspended under the Takapu Road Bridge in Tawa. It runs over the Porirua Stream and the electrified North Island main trunk railway line.

To assess the pipe’s condition, the steel casing and yellow jacket covering underneath needed to be removed. Scaffolding was erected and an all-encompassing wrapping placed over the pipeline and scaffolding. This ensured workers who were checking, cleaning and painting the pipeline caused minimal pollution to the stream below or damage to the surrounding environment.

The condition of the 45m-long steel pipe that was covered by the steel casing and yellow jacket covering was unknown. These factors brought an element of complexity to what would have been a routine inspection job.  It was essential to protect the stream, as well as the surrounding environment, from any contamination. 

Other environmental success stories for Powerco included installing gas district regulator stations underground to improve the visual environment and reducing noise, and turning above-ground regulator stations into pleasing artwork.

Powerco’s Gas Network is unique among its peers in this country in gaining certification through membership of the independent Enviro-Mark programme. To date, Powerco has worked towards and achieved the Gold standard. Its aim is to reach Diamond standard by next June

“Without the dedication and commitment from our staff and contractors, none of this would have been possible,” Mrs Ewing said.

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