Innovation

We strive to achieve innovation across all facets of our business.

Surpassing industry standards and challenging what is perceived as ‘normal’ is something that is deeply embedded in the culture of our business. We approach each and every project with the intention of finding safer, more cost-effective and value-added solutions for our clients.

It could be the execution of a unique methodology, implementation of a new product or the purchase and utilisation of ground-breaking equipment, McMahon Services are constantly challenging ourselves and finding ways to drive innovation.

Testament to our hard work and determination, McMahon Services has been recognised by the industry and our peers for innovation and best practice, and we will continue to reach for new heights.

Safe and Efficient Walkway System

Designed and purpose built for the Adelaide Aquatic Centre project, this 30m access walkway system allowed staff to access the roof during reinstatement works. A lifting spreader beam was manufactured to raise the walkway into position and pick up the new 32m long Dampalon and metal roof sheets.

Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) Vehicle Asbestos Decontamination

McMahon Services was engaged to remediate 14 antique cars, ambulances, fire engines and construction machinery dating from the 1910s to the 1960s after they had been contaminated by asbestos particles falling from the roof where they were stored.

The first stage of the works was the construction of a 480m² asbestos containment structure with a volume of 3400m³ complete with a five-stage decontamination enclosure, a friable asbestos enclosure, and water treatment facilities.

The structure was built within an existing MOTAT facility. No building fabric was modified during the works and on the completion of the project the building was restored to its original condition without any residual contamination from the process.

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Key to the success of the project was that McMahon Services trained the museum curators and conservation and registry teams – who were already experts in conserving artefacts – on how to clean and remove asbestos contamination under Class A and B conditions. All MOTAT personnel were provided with full-face respirator masks and respirator battery packs for the duration of project, as well as all other appropriate personal protective equipment. McMahon Services undertook the supervisory roles for the project.

All waste was treated as asbestos, packaged in double layer 200µm plastic wrap and disposed of at an approved waste facility receiving station. Vehicles were relocated to another storage facility upon their decontamination.

Works finished early due to the MOTAT staff fast uptake of the training. With the completion of the works, MOTAT’s archaeologist and curators are now able perform the removal of asbestos but are not licenced to supervise asbestos remediation. This will provide them with significant cost savings for any future works if and when required.

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Augusta Power Station Decommissioning

McMahon Services were engaged to undertake the decommissioning, asset salvage and demolition of the redundant Augusta Power Stations assets, which provided the South Australian and National Electricity Market with power since 1954.

The stations included the 90MW Playford A Power Station, the 240MW Playford B Power Station, and the 544MW Northern Power Station.

A major risk was manual demolition by work crews inside the plant. McMahon Services significantly reduced this risk through investing in a 412t Komatsu PC4000 Excavator fitted with custom-made Genesis GXT 2555R Shear. To allow further mechanical demolition, McMahon Services commissioned a 30m long specialised demolition extension arm for successful mechanical demolition of boiler structures up to 35m in height.

This significantly reduced the use of scaffolding, elevated work platforms, crane access and work crews inside the structure undertaking manual demolition works. As a result, McMahon Services significantly exceeded the Alliance’s Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) 8.5 target achieving an LTIFR of 3.4 for the project.

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Augusta Power Stations Ash Storage Area Rehabilitation Works

McMahon Services was engaged to undertake the 273ha Ash Storage Area Rehabilitation at the decommissioned Augusta Power Stations site.

The first stage of the rehabilitation required covering the Ash Storage Area with a liquid dust suppressing concentrate called Vital Bon-Matt Stonewall. Diluted in water in concentrations of 10%, the Vital Bon-Matt formed a strong, flexible and long acting surface coating, penetrating and binding the surface of ash. The chemical provides an environmentally sound, immobile formula, free of heavy metals, minerals or solvent.

Application was not possible using traditional water trucks as the geotechnical properties of the ash meant such large vehicles would sink due to their high-ground pressure wheels. McMahon Services engaged aviation contractor Aerotech to provide an Air Tractor (AT) 802 single engine fire-bombing aircraft with a pilot to evenly distribute the suppressant across the Ash Storage Area.

Approximately 3,100L of Vital Bon-Matt solution was distributed with each run. The suppressant was dyed with green food colouring providing a clear indication of areas covered. The process enabled 212ha to be covered in what is believed to be a first in Australia.

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The second stage required covering the Ash Storage Area with 150mm of material composed of a sand and clay blend sourced from a borrow pit approximately 1km from the site. Several D6 swamped tracked dozers worked together with a D7 dozer concurrently to construct 4.0m wide by 0.5m high embankment fingers into a lattice arrangement across the site, allowing the cover material to be distributed evenly across the Ash Storage Area.

Like the water truck, ground pressures exerted from standard earthmoving dozers and dump trucks were too high to operate outside of the fingers that were constructed across the Ash Storage Area. To mitigate this, McMahon Services purchased a PistenBully 600 snow plough from the German manufacturers and then modified the wide-tracked, low ground-pressure vehicle to evenly spread out the soil clay blend across the site, reaching areas other plant and equipment could not.

Additional low ground pressure, swamp tracked D6 dozers were utilised together with the PistenBully to spread the borrow pit material using GPS inbuilt controls to a uniform depth of 150mm across the Ash Storage Area. By project completion, over 650,000m³ of borrow pit fill material will cover the Ash Storage Area preventing future dust generation and providing a growing medium for vegetation to establish as part of the seeding works.

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Narrows Crossing – Acid Sulphate Soil Treatment

After successfully treating 15,000m3 of acid sulphate soils on Curtis Island in preparation for the construction of Bechtel’s LNG facility, McMahon Services was awarded an additional contract on the mainland.

McMahon Services successfully treated an additional 50,000m³ of acid sulphate soils in Gladstone at The Narrows Crossing – known for its strict environmental regulations, with the route crossing the Kangaroo Island Wetlands on its way to the facility.

The material was wet and sloppy marine sediment and the acidity was highly heterogeneous. To effectively treat the material, the team utilised our company-owned Komatsu Reterra BZ210-1 G-Mode – a specialist soil conditioner along with a calculated dose of aglime. The liming rate ranged from 90 to 300kg/t.

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The developed treatment system was a modification of the Reterra, in order to dose the material with the neutralising reagent at a relatively high ratio. Instead of using the Reterra’s own reagent dosing system, an external feed hopper and conveyor system was developed to dose the aglime.

The project demanded significant sampling and record keeping requirements. Careful coordination was needed to deliver samples to a laboratory and to release batches once results were returned. McMahon Services recorded ‘zero rejects’ for the duration of the nine month project.

McMahon Services innovative treatment method not only saved significant amounts of storage areas on the busy site but the method also allowed the material to be reused for other critical construction components.

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