Ensuring Australian businesses and households continue to get the energy they need during COVID-19 has put significant pressure on the country’s utilities infrastructure and the people that make sure it continues to work seamlessly.
ENGIE has been providing electrical and communications cabling services to one of Australia’s major utility infrastructure companies. The client delivers gas and electricity to millions of households, businesses, industrial and healthcare customers across Australia all day, every day of the year. The company has been a client for many years and ENGIE has recently expanded its service portfolio to now include mechanical, fire and building project and maintenance services nationally.
Over the last few months, ENGIE has rapidly introduced new capabilities to scale up services and support for the client as Australian businesses tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to April 2020, the client managed its gas and electricity distribution networks from their National Operations Centre, located in Melbourne’s CBD. The centre is the heart of their operation, where up to 40 operators work around the clock to monitor, manage and operate their vast utilities distribution network. With the threat of COVID-19, and its potential impact on the highly skilled operators working in the Operations Centre, there was a need to duplicate its functionality and technology across several other locations, allowing them to disperse staff and minimise contact and contamination, should an infectious outbreak occur. It was quickly decided that two new ‘mini’ operations centres should be established in Broadmeadows in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, with a second, separate facility established in the Melbourne CBD location.
Working closely, and in collaboration with the client, ENGIE helped in developing a scope of works that provided a suitable and cost-effective solution, that could be delivered quickly, with no impact to operations. Throughout the project, ENGIE technicians worked closely with the client, and physical distancing and additional hygiene measures were implemented and maintained to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all employees at all times.
The work involved everything from the supply and installation of new workstations and control room desks, coordinating with builders and overseeing building modifications, installing electrical and data cabling, and ensuring that business operations were not impacted throughout the transition stage. The project also included the increase of data and communications capacity with an additional 200 data points installed, migration and setup of desktop IT hardware and new connections to Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) for reliability. ENGIE was able to complete this work with no disruptions, and within six days, all four facilities were operational.
As Darren Blake, Strategic Account Manager, ENGIE Electrical and Communications commented “Our dedicated team was able to quickly, and in collaboration with the client, develop a solution and prioritise our workload to get this unexpected project done. We are pleased to be able to help them keep operating during these tough times.”
The ENGIE team continues to support the business to ensure their facilities operate reliably and provide a safe working environment for their employees.