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Otago Dam Wins Second Major Award

Otago Dam Wins Second Major Award



The unique Horseshoe Bend hydro-electric dam built at Teviot, Central Otago has won a Merit Award, for its designer Opus International Consultants (Opus), from the Association of Consulting Engineers of New Zealand (ACENZ) at their annual conference in August. The awards recognise outstanding innovation and execution of a consulting engineering project. The dam also won the 1999 New Zealand Contractors Federation award for projects under $3 million for its constructor Fulton Hogan.

The dam impressed ACENZ judges with its innovative and successful use of Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) technology to construct the dam. Ian Walsh, Opus' Dunedin-based Technical Services Manager, says the RCC construction method has been widely used around the world but never before in New Zealand for dams. He explains that RCC is made from aggregate (similar to roading basecourse) which is mixed with low heat cement on site in a mobile plant and then placed using traditional earthworks roller compaction equipment. Substantial cost saving was achieved by proving that locally quarried weak schist aggregate could be used in place of higher quality imported aggregate.

Peter Mulvihill, Asset Manager with Pioneer Generation says the project was an outstanding success given the remote location, difficult environment and challenging timelines. "While Horseshoe Bend Dam is small, with a generation capacity of 4.3MW, it is interesting because it has trialed and proven an exciting construction method which has resulted in significant time, cost and risk savings for us," he says.

Opus provided all design services for the project, including the access roads, powerhouse, a 180m tunnel, and an 800m penstock using resources from its Dunedin, Alexandra and Wellington Offices.

Opus was also successful with three other projects at the 2000 ACENZ Awards, including:

The adidas Institute of Rugby at Massey University's Palmerston North Campus received a Gold Award for its unique design, exemplary project management during construction and outstanding operational performance post construction.

The design of a new kura kaupapa school in Christchurch received a Silver Award for the creative design solution produced for this unique Maori language primary school.

The restoration of State Highway 3 at Stockman's Hill in the King Country received a Merit Award for its successful design, effective project management and the extensive community and stakeholder consultation undertaken before and during construction.

Opus was formerly the design arm of the Ministry of Works and Development which was purchased in 1997 by Malaysian company Kinta Kellas. The company remains focussed on the New Zealand market and has almost 1100 staff operating from 33 offices around the country, including 10 locations in the South Island. Permanent international offices are located in Western Australia, Malaysia and England.



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