Blasting operations for Tingkillo switching yard to reduce impacts on nearby structures and stakeholders

Mark Drechsler and Clayton Warnest

Blasting operations in high risk areas involve extensive risk assessments and consultation with all stakeholders to minimise impacts on any nearby structures and stakeholders. For the construction of the ElectraNet Tungkillo switching yard in South Australia, blasting operations were undertaken during earthworks to form the switchyard platform which met project delivery dates and reduced the impact of the project on the local environment and stakeholders. The alternative to blasting was the importation of large volumes of fill to the isolated site. The blasting works required detailed design and specialised blasting techniques due to the very high risk of damage to overhead high voltage transmission power lines that provide electricity to the city of Adelaide through the ElectraNet electricity transmission network. In addition to this, nearby property owners expressed concern over potential damage to their properties as a result of the nearby blasting works. Through a complete risk assessment and thorough monitoring program, the blasting works for the Tungkillo switching yard were able to be completed on time, without incident and to design specifications.