‘Shovel ready’ essential services make headway during COVID-19

While Australia slowly experiences a progressive relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, stimulus plans are being rolled out to sustain businesses across the nation. The construction sector is a key focus, placing ‘shovel ready’ projects in the limelight to help revive its slowing economy. With its crews on the frontline building some of the largest pipelines across Australia and New Zealand, specialist in water infrastructure, Interflow, has been spearheading ‘shovel ready’ essential services for communities across Western Australia.

Interflow is a self-performing contractor employing over 600 people, providing end-to-end solutions for water networks across Australia and New Zealand. The Company carries out works in the planning, design, construction and maintenance phases of pipeline infrastructure within water, wastewater, stormwater and road and rail culverts.

The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled essential service providers like Interflow to develop swift and innovative methods to meet the water infrastructure needs of the region. The Company’s crews are constantly on the frontline, performing complex engineering solutions in the most extreme conditions. As such, the ability to rapidly respond to urgent infrastructure requirements is now more important than ever.

Shovel ready projects like these are reviving the economy. Two constructions have their feet on the ground and are ready to help.


Ready to mobilise

Interflow’s Business Development Manager for Western Australia, Steven Paradiss, emphasises how ‘shovel ready’ projects can boost the economy, even in the most remote regions in Western Australia.

“Very often, the types of projects we deliver are a sub-section of our clients’ ‘shovel ready’ programs. This means there is very little upfront design and we are able to immediately mobilise at any time,” he said.

“This allows us to provide essential water and sanitation services to rural, regional, peri-urban and urban areas in Western Australia.”

Interflow’s fully resourced team has the capacity to commence an infrastructure project’s start-up phase without compromising the contract’s commencement date.

“Our team’s ability to hit the ground running will enable us to build and renew essential water infrastructure for the Western Australia community before Australia reopens,” Steven explained.


A smart approach to stimulus funding

For asbestos cement (AC) pipe relining programs, current forecasts estimate that the capital expenditure necessary to keep up with failure rates of ageing AC pipes is expected to increase in both Australia and New Zealand over the next 20 years.

“An AC pipe, or any deteriorated or leaking pipe for that matter, can be relined using trenchless methods. This means there is no dig-up required and our customers’ assets are left in the ground undisturbed,” Steven said.

Referred to as a ‘smart solution’, Interflow’s trenchless approach allows a utility’s asset to be renewed with no open excavation and minimal disruption to the environment and the community. It also avoids potentially hazardous waste disposal issues in situations where these may be encountered.

Steven also emphasised that by avoiding traditional open-cut excavation methods, Interflow’s trenchless solutions provide local governments with an economically viable solution.

“Our trenchless method of pipe renewal is a prime example of a quick initiative to help re-boot the economy; it reduces costly excavation, halves the completion time compared to traditional open-cut methods and enables businesses and communities to carry out their regular activities undisturbed,” he explained.

This complements some of Interflow’s other service offerings including access chamber and packaged pump station installation, water tank construction, pipe/culvert CCTV and cleaning, as well as emergency civil works.


Harnessing innovation

As an essential service provider, Interflow has had to adapt quickly to changing environments through innovation and process development.

When considering this approach through a ‘smart spending’ lens, the Company is consistently developing end-to-end solutions that extend the operational life of customers’ water infrastructure networks for generations to come.

“We take a holistic approach when solving our customers’ problems.” Steven said.

“If customers have an emergency, we’re here. If they need a bespoke solution, we can design it, and if they need a long-term plan that will get the most value out of their stimulus plans, we’ll help them.”

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