3 jun 2021

Amokabel appoints new MD for Australia to establish covered conductors for utilities

As managing director of amokabel Australia, Stephen Rutland has big plans to help utility companies across the country deploy covered conductor to cut bushfire risk

Cable manufacturer amokabel has appointed Australian national Stephen Rutland as managing director (MD) of amokabel Australia. His objective is to help the country’s electricity distribution utilities make the most of covered conductor as the most cost-effective technology to minimize the risk of bushfire.
Stephen will draw on 20 years of experience in leadership roles in infrastructure and technology. Past roles include Chief Operating Officer at ADB Safegate, which delivers airport infrastructure projects worldwide. He has overseen multi-million dollar projects and hundreds of employees working around the world. 
Stephen said: “My previous roles have focussed on enhancing safety and efficiency and as such were the perfect training ground for bringing amokabel’s covered conductors to Australia. Amokabel’s covered conductors can help save Australian lives and wildlife and I am keen to help the utilities realise these goals. My priority is to establish a team for support and warehousing in Australia. This will bring cost efficiencies, reduce lead times and enable us to provide conductors in the exact lengths that customers need when they need it, rather than being dependent upon long shipping times. In the longer term, we are looking at setting up production in Australia to provide an even better service to our customers.”
Covered conductor prevents sparks when overhead lines clash or when vegetation comes into contact with the lines. As it has lightweight insulation, it can be installed on the existing poles and retain the existing spans. 
To combat the threat of electrically initiated wildfires, amokabel, in partnership with global electrical engineering consultancy Groundline Engineering developed a special type of covered conductor. The conductor, after being selected for Victorian state government funding, is now being deployed more widely, initial pilot projects having confirmed the ease of installation and cost effectiveness of the product and its success in providing a safer environment for all.
Stephen added: “I am very encouraged to see utilities rolling out our covered conductor solutions on a larger scale. It demonstrates their growing confidence that covered conductor solutions do reduce bushfire risk and can be delivered at a fraction of the total project cost of undergrounding. Our solutions provide more effective protection to the community, compared to the other technologies on offer.”