The Mt Emerald Wind Farm is located approximately 100km West of Cairns in Queensland. CATCON – in BoP consortium with CPP – were contracted by client Vestas to construct; roads, hardstands, sub-station, WTG foundations, HV cabling and the O&M facility.
The rugged and rocky terrain containing extreme grades made Mt Emerald one of the most difficult Wind Farm construction projects in Australia. 500,000m3 of drill and blast works were required for excavation of footings, hardstands and roads with 80,000m3 of drill and blast works required for the main access road alone. Eight drilling rigs were used for the drill and blast works along with three crushing plants to process materials for reuse on-site.
Additional challenges included: 50% of the project development envelope being located within an Ex-military firing range, meaning specialist UXO (unexploded ordnance) teams were required to sweep the construction zones before works could be carried out. Patches of endangered native vegetation were either relocated outside of the construction area of avoided altogether. Endangered native fauna such as the Northern Quoll were trapped by wildlife experts and relocated safely out of the construction zone.
Facts & Figures:
- 500,000m3 drill and blast
- 600,000 ton of site won, crushed material
- 73-hectare maximum ground disturbance
- 53 turbines
- 34 km access road
- 28,000m3 structural concrete and blinding
- 140,000 ton of imported base course