Upgrades to Canberra pump powered memorial jet

The National Capital Authority’s (NCA) upgrade of the Captain Cook Memorial Jet has encountered more problems, following pump failures and refurbishments over the last few months.

Recent inspections of the jet have found the high voltage (HV) cabling that connects the underground pump-station to the ActewAGL substation at Regatta Point HV cables are encased in bonded asbestos.

The Captain Cook Memorial Jet is a large water jet attraction at Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin.

Over recent months, the two pumps that power the Jet have been refurbished and re-installed, and associated cabling and switchboards have been replaced.

The hydraulic components of the pump have also been tested and an upgrade of ventilation and air-conditioning within the substation is currently nearing completion.

NCA Chief Executive, Malcolm Snow, stated that the NCA has been undertaking a comprehensive assessment of works required to repair and upgrade the Jet.

“We have encountered several obstacles as a result of these investigations. One of which is that the substation transformer the HV cables connect to is an out-dated design, meaning it cannot be physically disconnected or reconnected without significant modification to the transformer,” Mr Snow said.

“As a result, the transformer will need to be redesigned to be compatible and meet current electrical safety standards.”

The inspections also found that the HV cables are encased in bonded asbestos. The bonded asbestos is contained safely within a conduit, deep underground and undisturbed.

The NCA are awaiting advice from specialists on asbestos management and until then, there will be minimal work onsite until the new design for works is finalised, costed and programmed.

“Following these investigative works, we now have a greater appreciation and understanding of the requirements needed to ensure the Jet operates in accordance with current standards,” Mr Snow said.

“The scope of works has considerably increased but the community can be assured that the NCA are working closely with our contractors, consultants and ActewAGL on the challenges pertaining to the transformer, HV cabling and asbestos to get the Jet working as soon as possible.”

The NAC has also announced new design works relating to the repair and upgrade of the jet in order to address issues raised from the investigations.

It is anticipated that the Jet will be operational again in the second half of 2016.

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