Dunstans Construction Group awarded design and construction contract for East Grampians Pipeline Project

A Joint Venture (JV) between Wangaratta-based Dunstans Construction Group (Dunstans) and leading WA utilities services provider, Cape, have been awarded a $70 million contract to design and construct the East Grampians Pipeline Project to provide a reticulated water supply to up to 1500 rural properties in the Eastern Grampians region.

The project, led by GWMWater, will install more than 1400 kilometres of HDPE pipeline to farms in a 70km wide strip from Stawell in the north to Lake Bolac in the South.

The 18-month construction program is expected to commence in the second half of 2020, and will employ up to 70 people peak construction. Fourteen pump stations will also be fabricated and assembled locally, ensuring the highest quality.

“We are absolutely committed to utilising the skills of local employees, subcontractors and suppliers wherever possible,” said Cape Chief Executive Officer Greg Hutchinson.

“This is a fantastic project and initiative to be involved with, and we are proud to have been awarded the design and construction contract. Working closely with local community and stakeholders, with assistance from our joint venture partner, Cape, we are looking forward to delivering on this project,” Dunstans Managing Director Murray Dunstan said.

The bulk of the construction will utilise an ‘EcoPlough’, a patented plough designed and built by Cape, as well as utilising Dunstans’ and Cape’s horizontal directional drilling expertise.

The EcoPlough improves efficiency and minimises disturbance to the surrounding environment compared to a traditional excavated trench.

“The EcoPlough patented technology is unique to Cape and has had ten years of ongoing engineering development as part of the Cape R&D program,” Mr Hutchinson said.

“Similar to no-till cropping, the EcoPlough utilises a trenchless technique which is one of the most environmentally friendly options to install an underground pipeline. This minimises the impact on paddocks and access routes where the pipe will be laid.”

Dunstans and Cape will work together through the planning approvals and design prior to commencing construction. The collaboration on this project follows the formation of the JV between the two companies last August.

A community engagement team will be established to ensure there is an open dialogue between rural stakeholders and the project team. The preliminary design work will incorporate all the properties within the footprint, to establish a timeline for construction that will ensure minimal disturbance to local landholders and farmers.

“We are conscious of the sensitivities, works such as pipelines can cause local landholders and farmers,” Mr Hutchinson said. “So we will use existing boundary fencelines and existing access routes wherever possible.”