Providing spark to generator project

Tom Gannon

DRAC Mechanical transported their third and final acoustic generator enclosure from Traralgon to the new Barwon Prison expansion, near Geelong on March 30.

The generators, each weighing 41 tonnes, were designed and built entirely in Traralgon and took six months to complete.

From nuts and bolts to electrical wire and paint, each part of the three generator enclosures was locally sourced from businesses in the Latrobe Valley.

Drac managing director Chris Dracoulas said this focus on only using local materials was an important step in keeping the industry and jobs alive.

“We’ve seen a lot of stuff in the Valley coming from China and overseas which is ruining our trade,” he said.

“A lot of this stuff we use to buy in from overseas so we’re really trying to redesign things more economically and still maintain the quality because we’re constantly fighting against what’s coming in from overseas markets.”

Mr Dracoulas said Drac’s decision to move their large scale fabrication site to Traralgon from the company’s Cranbourne base was largely to utilise the region’s skilled workers.

“All the young guys working here have done their apprenticeships and come out building stuff for the power generation industry, which we’ve seen start to dwindle away,” he said.

“Coming out here gave us access to good tradesmen and more availability of land, so as long as we’ve got the work, we’ll keep operating in the Valley.”

The acoustic generator enclosures will provide standby power to the new $134 million Barwon Prison expansion, which is due to be completed by 2022.