Brisbane streets make way for 200 tonne electricity transformer


Powerlink Queensland received an important delivery via police escort with the arrival of a 200 tonne electricity transformer at its Belmont Substation.

The huge transformer required five prime movers to pull and push it from the Brisbane Port. The convoy travelled via a series of major Brisbane roads to the substation yard in the early hours of the morning to help minimise traffic disruptions.

Powerlink chief executive Merryn York said the project team used innovative new practices to carefully position the transformer once in the substation yard.


“The location of electrically ‘live’ infrastructure in the Belmont Substation yard meant cranes could not be used to move the transformer into its final position,” Ms York said.

“In addition to being an extremely heavy piece of equipment, electricity transformers are also very sensitive. They must remain vertical and be impacted by minimum vibration during transport, which presents its own unique challenges.

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“Our team had to think outside the box with a solution in the form of an innovative ‘self-propelled’ or remote controlled trailer which manoeuvred the transformer safely into place.”


Over eight hours, the transformer inched its way to the landing platform where it was carefully raised by the trailer high enough to clear an existing retaining wall.

Crews then slowly assisted the transformer to ‘jack and skate’ into place which involves hydraulic jacks lifting the transformer off the walking machine and skating it into its final position via large metal beams.

Ms York said the entire positioning process required meticulous operation and months of planning.

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“The transformer will now be connected into existing substation equipment and commissioned over the coming months, ensuring the ongoing reliability of electricity supply for Brisbane’s CBD, south-eastern suburbs and Port of Brisbane,” Ms York said.

The new transformer is an essential piece of network equipment that converts high voltage electricity from Powerlink’s transmission network down to a lower voltage suitable for Energex’s distribution network, which in turn delivers electricity to households and businesses.

Powerlink’s transmission network plays an important role in powering the Queensland economy, being responsible for helping to provide electricity to almost four million Queenslanders.