Huronian pole line, one of Vale’s oldest and most critical power lines in Sudbury, Ontario, was originally built in the early 20th century.

These quad 69 kV feeder lines stretch from South Mine to the top of their tailings dam, crossing a major highway, other transmission lines, rail lines, and Vale roadways. The structures were well beyond their anticipated life expectancy of 40 years.

The objective of this project was to design four new feeder lines from South mine to the top of the tailings buttress. A design challenge was presented to the project team in that no pole structures were to be placed in the dam footprint and a special tailings clearance was required for future dam upgrades. The tailings area presented additional material challenges due to extremely corrosive conditions.

BESTECH completed the multi-disciplinary detailed engineering (Power Systems, Civil, Structural) for this project. The newly designed quad 69kV feeders utilize FRP pole technology and large spans to provide the dam buttress footprint with sufficient clearance for haulage equipment to proceed with the dam upgrades. The FRP poles boast a superior service live to avoid unnecessary disruption of the tailings buttress.

The scope of work included the following:

  • Power systems, civil, and structural design of quad 69kV pole lines
  • Design of OPGW and shield wires
  • Grounding study
  • Lightning protection study
  • Constructability review
  • Capital estimate
  • Permitting and coordination
  • Technical bid reviews
  • Process hazard review
  • Demolition and removal package for existing infrastructure
  • Construction and commissioning support