Power industry well represented in national engineering awards

The Australian Engineering Excellence Awards have celebrated the accomplishments of some of the finest engineering companies and individuals in the world.

Ian Pedersen, chair of the National Engineering Excellence Awards National Judging Panel for Engineers Australia said the winners displayed world-class expertise and innovation in developing and implementing engineering solutions.

“The entries that reached the finals were of the highest quality and it took the judging panel a very long time to get the list down, which is a real credit to all the entrants.

The revolutionary SeaUrchin marine power generator took out one of the night’s Excellence Awards for its ability to economically capture the vast kinetic energy of the world’s ocean streams, tidal currents and river flows. The generator was entered by Elemental Energy Technologies Limited, ATSA Defence Services, RPC Technologies and E3k (a division of Gilmore Engineers). The technology operates in an extremely wide range of flow rates, making it deployable in a range of ocean and river locations around the world. With only one moving part, the technology is designed to exploit the underlying principle and raw power of an ocean whirlpool. It harnesses up to four times more power and is up to 70 per cent more efficient than conventional ‘propeller’ driven, marine generators commonly used today.

A second Excellence Award was awarded to NRG Gladstone Operating Services (NRGGOS) for its operation and maintenance of the Gladstone Power Station assets on behalf of an international joint venture. NRGGOS has been transforming the performance of the station to world’s best practice for availability, through a holistic restructure of the station’s asset management system, practices and culture.

“We were particularly impressed with the Gladstone Power Station because it’s a sign of what you can do to prolong the life of a facility without a very level of capital,” Mr Pedersen said.

The prestigious Sir William Hudson Award was taken out by Woodside, Australia’s largest operator of oil and gas production. Woodside’s Pluto LNG project processes natural gas from the Pluto gas field, located about 190km north-west of Karratha, Western Australia, through to a new Liquefied Natural Gas Plant located on the Burrup Peninsula, where the gas is converted to liquid form for transportation to markets around the world.