The Mill Creek Project in Wellington involved repairing defects on the wind turbines which were being prepared for hand over by Siemens New Zealand Ltd to their client, Meridian Energy.
The resource on this project involves three rope access technicians and four non-rope access technicians at any one time. The crew are responsible for carrying out coating repairs on the towers and nacelles (the hub at the top of the tower) as well as repairs to the fibreglass blades of the turbines.
The project presented a number of challenges to the delivery team and these were successfully mitigated. The initial challenge was to resource the project with specialist technicians from overseas in a very short time span, and to establish strict quality control processes and checks for the technicians performing coating repairs to follow.
These technicians now form an integral part of our wider service offering to wind farms in New Zealand and ultimately the Asia Pacific region.
Another significant challenge was the management of fly-in/fly out (FIFO) teams working remotely from management support. This was countered to a large extent by recruiting overseas and establishing a core of five Wellington based rope access technicians; followed by the establishment of a permanent local Wellington depot in May 2015.
SRG Global now has up to 27 technicians available to resource this project. The ever-changing weather conditions dramatically impact the productivity of the coating repairs, and different tools have been trialled to find the most effective solutions. The technicians are responsible for taking sole charge of individual turbines, turning them off and on and carrying out isolations so work can be performed safely. Dealing with such high value assets is a source of pride for our staff.