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SEMF completes Sugarloaf Pipeline automation project in record time

Consulting engineer and environmental solutions company, SEMF, has completed the automation of Victoria’s Sugarloaf Pipeline project in record time, the company claims.

From the time SEMF won the project contract to the practical completion of the project, the company took only eight months to automate the Sugarloaf Pipeline.

This enabled the overall pipeline project to be completed five months ahead of its contracted date, SEMF says.

The pipeline project is a key part of the Victorian Government’s three-pronged approach to securing Melbourne’s water reserves. The 70km pipeline will transfer water from the Goulburn River, near Yea, to the Sugarloaf Reservoir, outside Yarra Glen, on Melbourne’s outskirts.

It will boost Melbourne’s water supply by an additional 75 billion litres per annum while at the same time ensuring there is sufficient water for farmers in Victoria’s north-east.

According to SEMF, the turnaround time on the automation was a major feat given the complexity of the project and the quantity of hardware and software required for successful implementation.

According to SEMF’s Andrew Bongetti — who was project manager and principle electrical engineer for the $2.3 million undertaking — as many as 16 PLCs, 19 touchscreens, 26 electrical panels, 5,000 database tags and a vast array of communications networks were required to manage the pipeline.

“Given the amount of software required to program all the equipment, four software engineers worked full-time during those eight months, with an additional six commissioning engineers on site during the peak implementation phase,” Bongetti said.

The Sugarloaf Pipeline – which was officially ‘turned on’ by Victoria’s Premier, John Brumby, and Water Minister in February – will provide a significant boost to Melbourne’s water supply.

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