Case Studies

Construction contracts for historic cross-border electricity transmission project

Piper Alderman assisted ElectraNet in reaching a major milestone in Project EnergyConnect, awarding the major construction contracts for the South Australian component of the Project.

Team: Juniper Watson, Martin Lovell

Service: Projects & Construction
Sector: Electricity & Gas Regulation | Energy & Resources | Power & Utilities | Renewables

EletraNet is an electricity transmission specialist aiming to power people’s lives by providing safe and future-focused energy solutions. The company was involved in Project EnergyConnect. The Project allowed electricity to flow directly between NSW and SA for the first time in Australian history. Through the Project, there is an increased capacity for renewable energy generation and significant improvement in electricity reliability in the two states. The Project involved the construction of a 900km high voltage transmission line across the two states, with multiple substations along the transmission line. There was also a further connection point into northwest Victoria, a high-capacity interconnector located at the SA-NSW border.

Piper Alderman advised ElectraNet on many aspects of Project EnergyConnect. The milestone involved awarding high-value construction contracts to Downer Utilities Australia Pty Ltd and Consolidated Power Projects Australia Pty Ltd. Our team was well-placed to handle the issues because of its experience in project and construction legal aspects.

Client feedback

Sam Dighton, General Counsel & Company Secretary, ElectraNet said:

“Martin is one of our ‘go to’ lawyers, bringing excellent commercial nous and pragmatic decision making to help deliver complex, high value and business critical transactions. Martin’s ability to focus commercial and legal negotiations on the issues that matter has been key to our success in concluding transactions ahead of time and on budget. He is ‘magic circle’ quality.”

“Project EnergyConnect was ElectraNet’s largest infrastructure project in its history. The Piper Alderman team (Martin and Juniper) were our lead legal advisors throughout the procurement process (EOI and RFT), dual ECI engagement and negotiation of D&C contracts for major works packages including transmission lines (awarded to Downer) and substation works (awarded to CPP). Their persuasive negotiating style, sharp technical knowledge, quick turnaround times and ability to explain complex legal concepts in plain English terms was critical to closing out key contracts efficiently and achieving such a successful outcome for the business.”