Business North August 2022

68 | CONTRACTING Connell Contractors The Waipipi Wind Farm in South Taranaki was another successful project for Connell Contractors. Renewable energy projects mushroom Richard Loader Well-established in the power sector since 2016, leading Waikato civil infrastructure firm Connell Contractors is now tracking towards growth in the renewable energy sector, as multiple wind farm, geothermal, and hydro facility projects help to enhance the Connell profile. Established by Dave and Margo Connell in 1985, Connell Contractors has diversified and grown to a multi-award winning civil contracting firm with more than 70 civil contracting specialists in its employ. Today, Connell Contractors specialises in deep and large diameter pipelines, trenchless pipeline rehabilitation, sheet piling, de-watering, electrical, and civil structures. “We’ve built our reputation on doing difficult jobs that many of our competitors consider too risky,” says Connell Contractors CEO Lester Foxall. “Every project is an opportunity for us to grow as a company and enhance the skills of our people.” Having built up a range of expertise and experience that aligned with the power sector, with the equipment, the people, and the trust within the industry, Connell Contractors gained a lot of traction in the power sector in a short space of time. Henderson and Tangiwai substations were the first projects Connell procured for Transpower and comprised pre-cast buildings, foundation pads and cable trenches. “We are not as risk averse as others, and the tricky projects will always benefit us. They challenge our staff and that is important for their development. ‘’ Connell Contractors’ successful power sector projects have led the company to continued growth within the hydro sector. New Zealand’s hydro infrastructure is aging and. Connell have been working at the Karapiro Hydro Dam for the past two years on a variety of projects. Originally built in 1947, creating Lake Karapiro and flooding the first hydroelectric power station on the Waikato River, Connell Contractors is proud to have played a role in the development of Karapiro in recent times. Typical works include completing a 400V switch room upgrade, plugging the auxiliary penstock, providing weep hole relief at the toe of the dam, and making traffic safety improvements to the dam. “Our work across all renewable energy disciplines provides us and our customers with a valuable opportunity to reduce environmental impacts,” Lester says. “There is a lot happening in this space, it’s a reflection of where the world is going.” As a clean and effective source of sustainable renewable energy, wind power has achieved significant growth in the past decade. “ They are several projects under consideration at the moment throughout New Zealand and this is a key focus area for Lester and the team. Both the Turitea Wind Farm near Palmerston North and Waipipi Wind Farm up in South Taranaki proved to be excellent projects for Connell Contractors, enhancing the company’s profile in the renewable energy sector. In addition to the various wind, solar and hydro projects across the country, Connell Contractors continues to explore other renewable energy avenues such as the Geothermal energy project for Contact Energy at Tauhara near Taupō. Scheduled to be completed in 2023, is regarded as being one of the best sources of low-carbon electricity as its not reliant on weather conditions. Geothermal plants can operate 24/7 and are a robust way to transition away from fossil fuels. “Here at Connell, we’re putting climate risk awareness at the heart of our decision making, and embedding it into our strategy and culture at all levels.” P: 09 275 9906 E: Concretec are proud to support Connell Contractors Suppliers of panels, beams, stairs, balconies, columns and other precast components Each edition priority delivered to your door. . . . . i i 03 983 5525 Stay informed; we work with business owners and decision-makers across all economic sectors, profiling their success. i ; i i i i - ll i , ili i . Your Business, Your Industry, Your News. r i , r I tr , r . businessnorth Volume 21 | Issue 3 | June 2022 businessnorth