Telecommunications help power South Australia mines


When ElectraNet won its largest transmission line project to build a high voltage transmission line from Port Augusta to OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill Mine Site, they engaged specialized contractors to help with various aspects of the overall project.
Consolidated Power Projects Australia was hired by ElectraNet for substation works and they, in turn, engaged PSC to handle the telecommunications components. The project included a new 275kV substation at Mount Gunson South (MTGS), a solar-powered optical fiber repeater site at Parakylia and protection and telecommunications equipment at the existing Prominent Hill Mine Site substation – all aimed at giving OZ Minerals direct access to the main electricity grid to power their operations.


The remote nature of the Prominent Hill Mine site was a challenge. The site is 800km North of Adelaide and our team clocked over 10,000 kilometers over the course of delivering this project. There were also logistical challenges: all site access and related accommodations had to be booked weeks in advance and to access the site, we required a specialized 4WD vehicle and satellite phone to communicate. The project was complicated further with the risk of COVID restrictions closing all works down.

The 132kV transmission line was de-energized during a five-day outage, requiring the mine site to run on diesel generators. This meant we had to complete testing of the new telecommunications equipment two days before the line was re-energized. We completed the necessary bit error rate testing (BERT) of the optical fiber equipment, transmission line protection circuit testing and phone line commissioning all in this short window.


PSC’s scope was to design, supply and build the telecommunications network at the newly constructed MTGS substation. We supplied four cabinets of transmission, MPLS IP and telephone equipment as well as 2 x 48VDC power supplies plus batteries. Working with our fiber subcontractor we installed and tested five fiber cables, two copper phone cables and two
OPGW lead-in cables.

PSC supplied the telecommunications cabinet at Parakylia solar-powered repeater site. This site is in the Woomera Bombing Range, 60km North-West of Roxby Downs.


PSC Advantage

PSC’s Telecommunications and Networking group are totally focussed on the needs of power generation, transmission and distribution customers. We have an in-depth understanding of the critical telecommunications and networking requirements for energy projects, and our team has extensive industry experience. We also enjoy a long history with ElectraNet and pride ourselves on our ability to deliver to all our clients’ expectations, offering them valuable peace of mind that projects will be completed on time and on budget.

Contact us to find out how we can help you with your next project.


Transmission and Distribution