Based in the energy rich region of Taranaki, First Gas supplies gas to more than 65,000 customers across the North Island of New Zealand.
First Gas owns and operates more than 2,500kms of high pressure gas transmission pipes and nearly 5,000km of gas distribution pipes that supply natural gas from the Taranaki region to industrial consumers throughout the North Island.
Earlier in 2017, First Gas engaged Mipela GeoSolutions to provide a comprehensive Lands Management System to help them manage their extensive property portfolio and its associated stakeholders. First Gas were looking for a solution that could automate the day to day management of its easement database, land and planning (risk assessment for owner/operator, visit and permit history) and to capture all associated information for their annual landowner contact program. Integration with First Gas’ existing GIS system, ESRI, was integral to the success of the proposed solution.
Mipela successfully implemented X-Info Suite to manage the Lands and Permit business functions at First Gas. This solution offers key workflows and automated processes that align to the nominated business procedures. First Gas have also embraced the opportunity to further optimise their business moving forward in a flexible and hassle free manner.
The implementation of an Automated Response System for their Before You Dig enquiries for part of their distribution business was also delivered. This solution is now protecting distribution assets with timely and detailed responses. This has enabled First Gas to refocus resources to pro-active asset management, rather than administration tasks.
Since GoLive of X-Info Suite, First Gas has noticed positive enhancements in operational efficiencies, reducing landholder update timeframes from one hour to five minutes.
The First Gas standard of data integrity has been clearly defined and is maintained by applied user security and live feeds from point of truth data sources such as GIS property. This ensures that the business can validate the information generated from the X-Info Suite and trust it to support their decisions and workflows.
The availability of on demand and templated reporting has ensured transparency companywide to key business information from the Lands Team.
Future strategies for field mobility solutions using X-Info Aware will see First Gas move core information seamlessly through the business from field to office to GIS to third party owners.
“The future potential application of X-Info for lands management is exciting and will provide a one stop holistic management tool for all First Gas land stakeholder management,” said Anthony Joines, Land and Planning Manager, First Gas.
Farming in Australia is in a state of turmoil. Many farmers are saddled with unsustainably high debts and are hit by unstable crop prices. Extreme weather events, from mass flooding in 2011 to intolerable droughts in 2014, exacerbate the difficulties faced by Australian farmers. By diversifying into solar generation, farmers can regulate their annual income and secure their finances.
Luminous Energy specialises in the planning and development of large-scale photovoltaic power plants, from initial site selection to connection and commissioning. They organise the development of solar farms, taking projects from initial site selection up to the point at which they are ready to be built.
Luminous recently sought assistance from Mipela with data management and mapping support to produce plans suitable for property agreements and site constraint mapping for three proposed solar farm sites in Queensland.
As part of the planning and development process, Luminous are required to submit site development plans to local council and plans to accompany ecological assessments to State and Federal Government. With the decision makers being geographically spread between Australia and the UK rapid revisions of mapping was required. Having someone experienced on the ground who can interpret requirements and turn the work around in a timely manner like Mipela has been critical to the project so far. This well managed revision process has resulted in better project delivery with quickly delivered result in an effective manner.
“In August 2017, Tasmanian Irrigation migrated from a manual system of responding to dial before you dig enquiries and implemented the X-Info DBYD suite automated solution.
This has proved to be a cost-effective method to reduce the internal resources required to respond to enquiries, improve response times and reduce opportunities for human error.
This has led to a reduction in risk to our underground assets. The process of implementation was well managed by Mipela and their staff were supportive and accommodating throughout this process.”
Emily Tys, GIS Manager, Tasmanian Irrigation
In South Australia we love wine and our newest clients based in McLaren Vale are all about the grape!
Integrated Precision Viticulture (IPV) assists vineyard owners and managers to make smart, cost effective decisions around their properties using a combination of airborne data collection, in situ hardware including hundreds on in ground probes and professional field observations to record data across the vineyard throughout the year. IPV were looking for a platform to bring all of this information together so that their clients could access information at any time using powerful tools to present and analyse location specific information as well as manage tasks to be completed in the field.
X-Info Suite has as allowed IPV to set up the AG-GIS platform which gives then the ability to map assets and features on a property using X-Info Aware to view this information and maps online. This has been useful for IPV staff who have now created a central repository for property access information. This means they no longer get lost going to a property! It’s also useful to vineyard owners who may want a map of their property and share other consultants.
Asset maintenance requests can now be raised by vineyard owners using X-Info Aware and tasks are assigned to IPV staff to complete the job. The staff are able to navigate to the exact probe location via the geospatial information provided.
Agronomist consultants engaged by IPV are able to use X-Info Aware to record field observations such as pest and disease monitoring, baume (sugar content of grapes) and phenology (growth stage of the vine) readings which are automatically sent to X-Info Connect where can be then mapped online in real time. Agronomists can also assign treatment tasks such as spraying or slashing, based on their field observations, and include relevant chemical application information to assign to vineyard workers to carry out. Reporting can also be completed in field and sent to vineyard owners either in real time via a secure Internet browser or scheduled emails.
The AG-GIS platform also provides the ability for vineyard workers to carry out chemical audits and keep records of which chemicals in what volumes are currently stored on a particular property. The location of emergency management assets such are assembly points, fire hoses and washdown points are also mapped and can be accessed in report or map format online during an emergency event.
So, next time you’re sipping on a McLaren Vale Shiraz, have a think about how technology helps make that glass of wine taste awesome!
Written by Alana O’Connor
In our last newsletter, we introduced you to X-Info Plans Management, a browser based solution that automated the collation of your incoming DBYD responses.
Zinfra were one of the first companies to hop on board with this new solution in the later part of 2016. The value of using this tool is clearly demonstrated the savings in time and resources taken to receive and reconcile the incoming responses.
“Being able to check on any job via a web based console gives us the opportunity to just get on with the other planning and scheduling tasks associated with field work”, said Jason Luichareonkit, Business Systems Manager at Zinfra. “We have seen a significant business process improvement since introducing X-Info Plans Management”.
The number of DBYD enquiries Zinfra is making using X-Info Plans Management in NSW alone has increased manyfold – a true testament to the buy in and peace of mind from the business.
“We are currently onboarding Zinfra’s other states to realise the value of X-Info Plans Management in our planning and scheduling work.”
“I have worked with many system integrators and I must say that the attitude and the customer focus centric approach of every one at Mipela is outstanding. Nothing was too big of a deal. All enquiries and teething issues during and after implementation were answered in a timely manner”, added Luichareonkit.
One of Mipela’s long term South Australian clients, ElectraNet, recently asked us to undertake a couple of interesting projects that are worth sharing:
GIS analysis is undertaken based on land use codes to identify the risk associated near nominated assets. Calculations may vary based on vegetation density, vegetation type and climatic variables as well as high voltage ratings, hardware and componentry. These are just a few considerations that can be used to determine what vegetation management tactics should be recommended to minimise bushfire risk. These proactive measures can also contribute to significant cost savings of insurance premiums.
Have you ever wondered how the initial corridor for a linear asset (like a powerline or a pipeline) is determined? Basically, based on a series of pre determined constraints, geospatial analysis is conducted across multiple layers of data to conclude on the most appropriate path for the asset. This doesn’t always result in the actual outcome as there are many other constraints to be considered like social and cultural aspects. The route analysis is just a small part of the route selection process.
APA Group has grown to be Australia’s number one gas infrastructure business which operates more than $20 billion worth of assets.
Mipela is proud to have worked alongside APA since the 2000’s. Here’s a timeline that demonstrates how we have supported APA since 2007 using our X-Info product suite.
The Tasmanian Gas Pipeline (TGP) is the only pipeline supplying natural gas to Tasmania. It transports natural gas from Longford in Victoria, under Bass Strait, to Bell Bay in Tasmania.
The TGP asset is owned by Palisade, and Zinfra has operated, maintained and undertaken minor construction activities on the gas pipe for 14 years, since it was commissioned in 2002, under a field services agreement (FSA). Zinfra delivers a comprehensive range of engineering, operations, maintenance and construction services to the utility infrastructure sector nationally.
Zinfra has used Mipela software solutions for their operations and maintenance work since 2012, using X-Info Suite, consisting of X-Info Connect, X-Info Maps and the integration with Maintenance Connection for automated Dial Before You Dig responses, works management for third party crossings, and to manage communications with landholders along the pipelines.
By implementing the new X-Info Aware application, field workers can now collect data on site at third party crossing locations. Other field data collection tasks have been streamlined into X-Info Suite, allowing the decommission of their old data collection systems entirely. Zinfra can now also assign tasks to their crews in the field and undertake regular checks of the pipeline, based on work orders generated in Maintenance Connection, from both the air and ground to keep informed of issues affecting the pipeline’s operation in real time.
“Implementing X-Info Aware for Zinfra’s data capture – which includes cathodic protection, aerial patrols and pipeline faults – has improved not only our workflow and record keeping, but keeps us up to date with current technologies available. We also have other connections that are linked together, including DBYD and Landholder Database, as well as a live system which is very important for our employees to ensure they have the most up to date data when in the field.”
Zinfra/Tasmanian Gas Pipeline
“With Mipela’s suite of products we were able to tailor what we needed to deliver for our client. Over the past four years we have found a solution that not only meets our client’s needs but keeps our field employees up to date with live updates and work flows that save time, keep data current and easier to manage. When working with Mipela our team has found they have a “can do, nothing is a problem” attitude with continual improvement always at the front of their mind. It’s always a pleasure dealing with Mipela and I look forward to working on the next project with them.”
Operator of the Tasmanian Gas Pipeline – Zinfra
In 2015 Mipela provided ongoing GIS support to ERIAS Group during phase 1 of the Elk-Antelope LNG field (PRL-15) development (Social and Environmental Screening Studies). This task was as part of the feasibility study for the Papua LNG Project.
The Papua LNG Project is one of the few greenfield LNG projects worldwide.
ERIAS Group successfully bid to undertake phase 2 – Environmental Impact Study and Environmental, Social, Health Impact Assessment studies for Total, operator of the Papua LNG Project. These studies will allow Total to secure an Environmental Permit for the Project under the Environment Act 2000. The Mipela GeoSolutions GIS team have been engaged for the past twelve months supporting ERIAS Group mapping and spatial data for phase 2.
The following Milestones have been achieved during this period:
Key Project Infrastructure components
Veolia is a global leader in environmental solutions, working closely with some of Australia’s largest companies to help them reach their sustainability goals. Veolia is governed by an adherence to the highest levels of safety, no compromises and work in partnership with its clients to minimise hazards, reduce risk and build a respected and lively safety culture.
In late 2015, Veolia successfully won the vegetation management services contract with QGC. This body of work includes the management of remote maintenance teams to undertake assigned tasks and report back in a comprehensive and timely manner.
Having worked with Mipela since 2009, the team at Veolia partnered with Mipela to configure a hosted solution that not only managed the tasks for the remote workers via a tablet device but also provided automated reporting to both Veolia and their client QGC, offering transparency of activities and real time results. The solution had to be fluid enough to handle changes from Veolia’s client, QGC. Mipela were agile in their approach to the deployment and could quickly scope and configure variations collaboratively as they were required.
Mipela implemented X-Info Connect to manage, manipulate and report on the data; X-Info Aware to capture the data in the field on users mobile tablets; and X-Info WebConnect to provide a browser based interface into select data for QGC and the maintenance companies.
In early 2016 Veolia’s first work crew undertook their assigned maintenance task near Miles in the Surat Basin. Before and after photos were captured as part of the task process. Information on herbicides used were also collected as part of the maintenance process and reported accordingly. This information was then available for consumption by the Veolia team in real time for review, analysis and subsequent reporting to their client, QGC.
In summary, real time reporting of remote field activities is available using mobile devices. Tasks, scheduled or adhoc can trigger additional actions, such as emails or SMS, to notify others of issues or risks.