Dairy Farm Projects

Deep Cove

Deep Cove Stage Four: The new Hydropower Pipeline is Installed before Winter

The Deep Cove Hostel is now back on hydropower and the new pipeline, with an increased water capacity, is providing the hostel with an increase in power generation and operation by 20 percent. The Nind Dairy Services engineering team really stepped to the fore on this project; creating 500 brackets, making large scale manifolds and flange sets. It was great to see the pipeline finally connected and water running through it successfully!

The new pipeline curves along atop the existing steel line and is secured in place with the large-scale manifolds. The air relief valve has been put in place. The Nind Dairy Services engineering team also made a series of metal and wooden supports to be put in place in parts where the pipeline doesn’t follow the existing steel line.

We’re happy to see the Deep Cove Hostel is up and running again with Hydropower and happy to be part of a unique project in a beautiful and remote part of New Zealand, that is visited by a wide range of people from all over the world. It’s been an interesting project to be a part of, with some great logistical challenges, which have made it a fun job. We’re happy to see the Deep Cove Hostel has also seen an increase in it’s power generation which is great for their running capacity.

 Thanks to all the Nind Dairy Services staff who took part in the project, all the team put in a solid effort, and thanks to the Deep Cove Trust and volunteers who also helped on the project.

Deep Cove Stage Three: Helicopter Dropping in the Pipeline

The Nind Dairy Services team are working hard to get the new pipeline and hydropower system set up at Deep Cove in Fiordland National Park. Situated in Dusky Sound, the area is dense bush, isolated, and has a heavy rate of rainfall. With the new pipeline needing to be helicoptered in, working when the weather is good has been crucial. Nind Dairy Services engineering staff also pre-made approx. 500 brackets to secure the new pipeline into position.

After a few days of delays due to bad weather, the helicopter was finally able to start lifting the new pipeline into place. It’s no easy task – each piece of pipeline is over 200kg, the bush; although a lot has been cut away, is still incredibly dense and the weather is still what we’d describe as wet. Wooden supports were put in place in some parts to help support the new pipeline. Parts of the area are also on a substantial incline. The existing pipeline helped create a path for the new line. The new line is substantially larger in diameter, so we’re hoping the Deep Cove hostel will see an increase in operating power by about 20%.

Here you can see the team kitted out in wet weather gear putting the new pipeline into place. It curves in one section along the existing pipeline and is secured to it in the steep section. We’re grateful to the New Zealand Army for installing the initial steel pipeline and to our helicopter pilot for doing such a good job flying in the pipeline.

Deep Cove Stage Two: Removing both ends of the existing pipeline

It’s crunch time at Deep Cove as Nind Dairy Services staff remove both ends of the existing pipeline. This means Deep Cove Hostel is now relying on the temporary alkathene line to supply water for their amenities at the 50-bed hostel and running off a diesel generator. Time is ticking for the team, as we want the costly generator to run as little as possible.

Staff are working away in dense bush to disconnect the existing pipeline. Not an easy task, as the old steel pipeline is incredibly heavy. While the new pipeline is being trucked in and then moved using a tractor, before having each piece helicoptered into place. With the new pipeline, each piece is over 200kg so the logistics of dropping that into dense bush and putting it into place with the brackets will be fun.

Nind Dairy Services engineers have been busy making over 500 brackets that have thankfully been put in place with the help of volunteers, along with the Nind Dairy Services team. Volunteers also helped clear the bush, which staff are incredibly grateful of. Weather and location play a huge part in the job, with a high level of rain, the Nind Dairy Services team are kitted out in extreme wet weather gear. It’s an untouched environment where stunning waterfalls appear out of nowhere and let’s not even start on the mosquitos.

The Nind Dairy Services team are really pushing to get the project turned around in a short space of time and looking forward to getting the helicopter in, and the manifold and flanges in place so Deep Cove Hostel can have hydropower back up again soon.

Deep Cove Stage One: Work on the project begins with Nind Dairy Services staff going in to install a temporary line

Nind Dairy Services are currently working on replacing 500 metres of deteriorating steel pipeline that supplies Deep Cove Hostel with hydropower and water, in a remote part of Fiordland National Park.

The 50-bed hostel was established in 1971, with the original steel pipe being put in by the New Zealand army in the 80s. The Hostel is a fantastic resource for New Zealand and Southland, with school groups around the country going there to do outdoor education and DOC education programmes. It’s also open to travellers, and Bill English has even stayed there.

Nind Dairy Services engineers have already pre-made 500 large size brackets, large scale manifolds and lots of flanges for the new pipeline, and now Nind Dairy Services team are working on laying the alkathene pipeline so that the amenities and fire alarm system are still fully operational at Deep Cove Hostel while the new pipeline is laid.

Nind Dairy Services staff are aiming for a quick timeframe on the pipeline install

The project has a lot of logistics to consider – with six staff travelling by boat to work in dense bush to set up a temporary water system, and then the new system. The new system will hopefully see Deep Cove Hostel having an improved power supply and system that will last the test of time, even in such wild conditions.

Having a short time frame on this project is critical for a few reasons; Doubtful Sound has an incredibly high rate of rainfall (7 metres per year), and to have a helicopter drop the pipeline in requires good weather conditions, so getting this project completed before winter (the wet season) sets in is a priority.

The other reason for keeping to a short time frame on this project is that its costly for the hostel to run on a diesel generator, and Deep Cove Hostel is a non-profit organisation. Nind Dairy Services staff are working long days to ensure the new pipeline is set up quickly and to a high standard. The payoff, of course, is beautiful sunrises and sunsets in probably one of the most picturesque parts of the world.

Preinstall: Nind Dairy Services are working to upgrade the hydropower system for Deep Cove Hostel Trust

Deep Cove Hostel is a 50-bed building, established in 1971. You might have gone on school camp there. Set in a remote part of the Fiordland National Park, the hostel is mostly booked out by schools for camps and they run outdoor education programmes and doc education programmes.

Despite having one of New Zealand’s largest power stations as a neighbour, the Deep Cove Hostel is totally reliant on producing its own electricity. This is achieved by running a pipeline from a small dam some 500 metres up the Wanganella Stream to a hydro generator at the hostel.

The Deep Cove Hostel Trust contacted Nind Dairy Services as the original pipeline, installed by the New Zealand Army in the 1980s was, unfortunately, showing indications that the steel pipe was wearing very thin and has the potential to burst at any time. The Deep Cove Trust raised a lot of money and received a very generous donation of $50,000 from the Community Trust of Southland to undertake the expensive and risk adverse replacement of the existing pipeline.

Nind Dairy Services worked with the Deep Cove Hostel Trust to come up with an action plan to replace the degraded steel pipe. After the initial scoping of the project, a lot of work had to be done before work could begin.

Nind Dairy Services made 500 brackets for Deep Cove

Once the job was confirmed with the Deep Cove Hostel Trust, Nind Dairy Services' engineers got to work building 500 brackets, make large-scale manifolds and flange sets to go around the new pipe and hold it in place. As the pipeline goes for about 500 metres, and at a substantial incline of approx. 120 metres up the hillside, and with each piece of pipe weighing about 200kg, quality made brackets, and lots of them, were crucial.

Deep Cove: A remote location for a project by Nind Dairy Services

The area is remote; Nind Dairy Services staff must travel via car to Manapouri and ferry across to West Arm and from there take a road through to the hostel at Deep Cove, Doubful Sound. A helicopter would be needed to lift and lay the new pipeline, which would be weather dependent, so the job needed to be completed in a short time frame before winter and heavy rainfall (with the area getting approx. 7 metres per year). The dense bush surrounding the existing pipeline was thankfully cleared by volunteers of the Deep Cove Hostel Trust and they began laying some of the 500 brackets needed for the initial pipeline.

At the latest meeting of the Trust, Mike reported back on how the new pipeline installation was progressing. He reported that it was all but finished and that the project had gone well even though the location made the installation difficult. He also reported that the generator is now at least 20% more efficient. The Trust would like to thank your company for the very professional manner in which they installed the pipeline. They would also like to thank you for the continued support you have given to the Trust over the years. It is certainly appreciated by the students, teachers, and parents who attend the hostel.

For a day and a half, I was lucky enough to be able to work with your staff while they were putting in the pipeline. I was very impressed with their work ethic and dedication to getting the project finished in an efficient and safe manner. Etienne Vanloggerenberg and his men worked extremely hard in very difficult terrain and weather conditions. While I was more of a nuisance than a help, I certainly appreciated the manner in which I was received into the group and allowed to help out. 

Once again, on behalf of the Trust, I would like to thank you for your support, it would certainly not operate as well without it.

Yours faithfully,
Tom Clark.

– Deep Cove Educational Trust Chairperson; Tom Clark
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