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INTRODUCTION TO PRESCHEM

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1 INTRODUCTION TO PRESCHEM
Largest manufacturer of remedial wood preservatives in Australia Over 5 million poles treated with Preschem products around the world Accredited to ISO 9001:2000 Technical expertise includes Chemical Engineers, Electrical Engineers and Wood Scientists Established in Australia in 1988 Manufacturing base in Melbourne with support offices in other states and South Africa Preschem was established by two scientists with more than 30 years experience in the field of wood preservation. The unique remedial treatments incorporating solid slow preservatives has been revolutionary to the Electricity Utilities throughout Australia and the technology is has now been patented and registered for commercial use in both Australia and South Africa for many years.

2 COMPANY STRUCTURE Preschem Organisation
Pole Management & Technical Support service Manufacturing Division Remedial Treatments for Utility Poles Pole Inspection IT Systems Training Clear timber finishes The company not only manufactures remedial treatment products but also has provided support to several pole inspection companies in Australia and South Africa which has proven most valuable in understanding real application requirements and opportunities for product development. The technical expertise in the company combined with an extensive industry exposure has allowed the evolvement of a technical support service focussed particularly toward Power Utilities and wood pole management. This service is normally free of charge and intended to assist Utilities in working toward achieving the most appropriate wood pole management strategies and procedures for their particular pole population. Improvement in management can extend right from the implementation of a basic inspection standard right through to more sophisticated refinement of process using audits at various levels. The recent expansion into a unique cutting technique for milling timber that is much more efficient in utilisation of the whole log and produces timber far more stable than conventional means has been a recent exciting development. This method called the radial sawn technique is rapidly gaining acceptance as a viable and cost effectivealternative. Preschem’s website contains more detail on radial sawn timber. (www.preschem.com) The Company also manufactures and markets a range of clear timber oil based finishes targeted at the “do it yourself” market. This has proven to be a steady market in Australia often being used in the domestic scene where timber features are prominent. Quality Radial sawn timber Standards

3 USE OF PRESCHEM REMEDIAL PRODUCTS
Supplied to all major Electrical Utilities in Australia Major export to South Africa Consistently used by Utilities for in excess of 10 years Preliminary performance trials in Uruguay, Greece and Hong Kong All Australian Electrical Utilities that utilise wooden poles have now incorporated the use of Preschem products into pole inspection standards and have been using them for many years, and in most cases poles have been re-treated again on a cyclic basis. Following several years of trial and development work, the two Electrical Utilities supplying power to South Africa have recognised the benefits in extending the life of their pole population and have now been remedially treating many poles with Preschem products. During 2002 this will extend to all electricity poles in South Africa, totaling in excess of 6 million. Preschem has an active research and development program with many and trials already have been completed. These trials have been established to evaluate performance for different species, climates, environments and re-treatment cycles as well as other developmental trials investigating improvements and evaluating potentially new products. In more recent times a new performance type trial has been installed in Uruguay and shortly a further such trial will be established in Greece which will also provide valuable local information regarding the commercial aspects of the installation process.

4 BENEFITS RESULTING FROM USE OF PRESCHEM REMEDIAL TREATMENTS
Reductions in pole replacement In Australia where many poles have new been remedially treated up to 3 times in a 10 –15 year period, condemnation rates have reduced dramatically. In conjunction with sound inspection practices, there are cases where condemnation rates during inspections have dropped for 5-10% to as low as 0.5% of poles inspected. Often significant control of decay becomes evident within the first cycle after treatment. Most electrical utilities in Australia where several cycles of inspection and remedial treatments have been completed, inspection cycles have been pushed out by several years representing a growing confidence in control of the condition of the pole population. Sizeable savings in the relevant operation budgets are able to be achieved from the reduction in inspection programs and fewer cases of emergency pole replacement. Extension of inspection cycles Reduction in unplanned pole failures

5 USE OF WOODEN POLES IN OVERHEAD NETWORKS
Lowest cost Relatively lightweight Most versatile Renewable resource Wooden poles have been used in Electricity networks for many years and have proven their value over this time. Some wooden poles have survived up from the early 1900’s and are still in service in good condition. Why have so many wooden poles been used? Not only are they economical and simple to fix attachments , they are very versatile and most suited to an electrical network. Being non conductive, wooden poles can virtually be used anywhere, and even if fitted with steel crossarms there is no risk of high voltages moving down the pole to endanger workers or the public. By comparison with spun concrete or composite steel/concrete poles, wooden poles are lighter and therefore easier, cheaper and more practical to install. From an environmental aspect, they are relatively simple to recycle or dispose of at the end of their life cycle and of course originate from trees, a renewable resource.

6 MANAGEMENT OF WOODEN POLES (World wide trends)
Increasing focus on maximising life of assets Improved control of pole failures and supply reliability Change from cyclic to reliability based maintenance Managing poles preferred to replacing poles There has been a progressive trend in Electricity Utility industry throughout the world to manage assets to ensure life is maximised and maintenance is directed at producing the best possible impact on supply reliability in a cost effective manner. Pole inspection is often at the heart of this initiative as remedial treatment of poles and reporting of the condition of associated assets can easily be incorporated into the same process. Obviously efficient data collection and reporting specifically designed to provide key information is very much a part of this progression. Monitoring the ongoing condition of the pole population using good pole inspection practices can be a very useful tool in both planning pole maintenance and reducing the risk of unplanned pole failures which can have quite serious consequences.

7 MANAGEMENT OF WOODEN POLES (continued)
Alignment of inspection, treatment and data collection Increased use of pole reinstatement systems Management of poles is no monkey business A wide range of pole reinstatement system using reinforcing nails attached to poles that bridge the small decayed sections can be viable. These systems have already been utilised for 15 years and most have remained in service. The business of properly managing poles cannot simply be taken as monkey business!

8 HOW PRESCHEM CAN ASSIST THE MANAGEMENT PROCESS
Provide a broad and balanced perspective Experience in most aspects of pole management Ongoing technical support We currently work closely with the major Utilities in Australia and South Africa, which allows us to provide a balanced independent view of good pole management practices and an opportunity to offer alternatives that may be best suited to other pole populations. We have extensive experience in particular with eucalyptus poles. Along with the positives we have also seen evidence of aspects that have not worked well, and often this broader exposure provides a good balance when advising and investigating various options. Pole management is more than just treating or inspecting poles. Our core business is the manufacture and supply of remedial treatments for poles, but this doesn’t mean that our expertise is limited to treatments. Our technical support will always be focused on assisting utilities with all aspects related to treatments, such as training, recommendations on correct products and their application, product approvals, purchasing and warehousing considerations etc. Other pole management support we can readily provide to Utilities is in the areas of standards, quality systems, auditing, IT/data capture systems and field training related to inspection. Preschem has a strategy encouraging long term alliances with Utilities fostered through ongoing technical support. We have also developed a comprehensive and technically based Website aimed at providing supporting information and guidance with wooden pole management. Treatment Process Quality Control Standards Training IT Systems

9 KEY ASPECTS TO EFFECTIVE POLE INSPECTION
Visual inspection and sounding Target critical zone immediately below groundline Detailed external probing Managed use of boring holes for internal inspection to minimise strength reduction to poles An important consideration, particularly with younger poles is to learn as much as possible about the pole condition using non intrusive methods. Visual inspection and sounding with a hammer and listening to the resulting noise from the impact can provide good initial information about the pole condition. Excavating into the critical zone up to a maximum of 500mm below groundline will allow probing around the outside circumference of the pole. Even on pressure treated poles, careful external examination below ground can provide valuable detail about the outer ring of the pole. This section is responsible for the majority of the strength in the pole. Often excavation is best left until the age of the pole may warrant this additional work as per unit costs can be greatly influenced by excavation, and also excavation does introduce more oxygen into this critical zone and can therefore extend the environment for decay. The location and size of holes drilled for internal inspection is an important consideration. There is an increasing focus on making the best possible use of inspection holes, but at the same time restricting the number to a minimum. Holes should be located in the highest risk zone and no larger than necessary to obtain a good assessment of the shavings from the auger. Much effort is necessary to train inspectors in consistent evaluation of shavings and conversion of this information into remaining pole strength. Many Utilities are introducing pole strength calculators in hand held computers to assist with process. There is also a range of non-destructive devices being developed that use various techniques such as ultra-sound to produce images of the pole cross section. Most of these types of devices have yet to be refined to the stage of being commercially available at this stage.

10 KEY ASPECTS TO EFFECTIVE POLE INSPECTION (continued)
Critical analysis of shavings from drilling Evaluation of pole strength Capture of information Use of auditing to standardise and improve Transfer of information from field inspectors into Network data bases ensures maintenance planners can effectively program works, and the condition of the pole population managed properly. There is no point having well intentioned procedures without ensuring regular adherence in the field. A targeted audit plan will assist with both consistency and future improvement of field practices and standards.

11 USE OF REMEDIAL TREATMENTS
Barrier and diffusible types Preschem products utilise diffusion principle Diffusion occurs at critical moisture levels for decay Internal treatment uses chalk type rods External treatment uses a bandage containing solid pills More traditional type of remedial treatments such as creosote and copper napthenate are barrier treatments. These treatments need to completely coat the surface to form a barrier against fungal attack. As only minor penetration occurs into the wood, these are generally only suited to newer wood that is free from decay. Diffusible fungicides such as boron, can migrate through the water based wood cell structure and hence are more suited as remedial treatments because they can be effective in wood already affected by decay which is often the case with established wood pole networks. Commercially the diffusion principle process has been most effectively developed to remedially treat structures that are already in service, and relies on a concentrated quantity of diffusible compound being applied to areas of wood which are likely to maintain moisture levels of 20% or above. Levels of moisture above 20% exist in many wooden poles in a zone below the groundline. This level of moisture combined with sufficient oxygen to about 500mm creates an environment suited to the formation of decay. Preschem products use two of the most proven diffusible compounds which are salts containing boron and fluoride. Using more than one active provides protection against a wider range of fungi that attack timber. The Preschem products use diffusion to deliver fungicides directly into this critical zone, either internally via sharply angled treatment holes or externally using a bandage.    The selection of internal or external treatments depends on a number of factors including species, climate and previous pressure treatments. In the case of hardwoods full protection can only be achieved by application of both as diffusion is not as widespread as for softwoods.

12 APPLICATION METHOD FOR POLESAVER RODS
Drill treatment holes around pole circumference Insert several Polesaver rods per hole Plug with suitable tapered plug Screwed plastic plugs and other accessories available from Preschem Polesaver is applied by inserting several rods into pre-drilled treatment holes drilled at a steep angle starting above the groundline. The angle ensures that the optimum diffusion occurs in the critical zone. Initially some training is needed to drill these holes correctly, however with experience and the right drilling equipment, this task will become straightforward. When Polesaver rods have been installed, the treatment holes are than sealed using a tightly fitted tapered plug. These plugs can be removed and re-fitted for any future re-applications.

13 APPLICATION METHOD FOR BIOGUARD BANDAGE
Excavate around pole to 300mm deep Clean soil and excess decay from outside of pole Measure pole circumference and cut length of bandage Wrap around circumference of pole and tape top section Backfill and consolidate Bioguard requires excavation all round the perimeter of the pole to approximately 300mm deep. The bandage is cut to length allowing for some overlap, and then fixed tightly around the pole ensuring the top edge of the bandage is at ground level. Backfill is used to ensure good contact with the pole and complete cover. It is important that the backfill be compacted well and if necessary additional soil used to ensure the Bioguard remains fully covered and inaccessible to the public or animals. The use of soil trays or ground sheets is recommended.

14 BENEFITS OF SOLID TREATMENTS
Safe and easy to handle Minimum protective equipment required No specialist application equipment Slow release provides longer term effectiveness Minimal environmental contamination The treatments being solid means they are very safe and easy to handle. Basically the only protective equipment normally is gloves. No messy pumps or large tubs containing gels or pastes. Bandages can be cut to the exact diameter of the pole and treatment holes drilled to accommodate full length Polesaver rods with no resultant waste or residue left at the pole site and no contaminated packaging requiring special disposal. Being in a slow release form allows only small amounts of active to be released at a time, so chances of large quantities of chemical escaping into the environment are eliminated.

15 Not classified as a dangerous good for storage and transport
STORAGE AND HANDLING Not classified as a dangerous good for storage and transport Require dry, cool and well ventilated area Clean and can be stored in original boxes Indefinite shelf life

16 Many trials already conducted throughout Australia and other countries
PERFORMANCE TRIALS Many trials already conducted throughout Australia and other countries Trials confirm the effectiveness of the diffusion process used to distribute the actives in Preschem treatments Field conditions are always simulated even to the extent of installing pole caps Early trials concentrated on diffusion in the shorter term and many were jointly established with Electricity Utilities. In recent times performance data is emerging from longer term trials and these are indicating good retention levels well after chemical reservoirs are depleted One means of detecting actives is by a process involving colourmetric indicator which is sprayed directly onto the wood surface. Toxic loadings will turn the indicator red in colour. Recently approximately 30 poles were dissected some 10 years after receiving a first treatment with Polesaver rods. These poles were t-re-treated at approximate 4 year cycles. Many poles were relatively low durability hardwood with extensive internal cracking. This sample demonstrates diffusion around these internal cracks.

17 PERFORMANCE TRIALS (continued)
Trials also extend to investigating product improvement Most trials have been independently assessed by Government Research Organisations Preschem committed to ongoing long term Research and Development program  The example from the Rocklea site shows extensive diffusion after a period of 7 years. This analysis has been conducted by the Forestry Department of the Queensland Government. Other trials that can be conducted relate to the commercial aspects of treatments, where a sample of poles can be treated and these can be used to ascertain realistic unit costs and to gain acceptance from field personnel.

18 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS
Preschem products are already registered for safe commercial use in several countries Controlled release of actives into wood Minimisation of waste Inaccessibility to public and animals Preschem utilises an Environmental Management plan which incorporates aspects from production through to the end use of products Before chemical products of this nature can be used commercially the final products have to undergo stringent evaluation by the appropriate Government authority in the country that issues product registrations. The evaluation incorporates the way in which the product will be used to check that it will be effective and there is no risk to either the users, the public or animals or the environment. While this can be a lengthy process, it does provide some comforting assurances. The quantity of chemical active exposed to the environment is controlled and minimised using solid diffusible products. Because the diffusibles progressively migrate into the wood, they are not normally in direct contact with the surrounding soil and therefore less likely to pollute the local environment around the pole. There is effectively no waste with Polesaver rods and usually smaller sections or offcuts of Bioguard bandage can be pieced together around poles with external obstructions such as guards or cables. Much of the drive toward improving the environmental performance of our products evolves from the strategic direction laid out in an Environmental Management plan. The plan is very broad and encompasses environmental considerations from manufacture through to the final use and disposal of spent product.

19 COST CONSIDERATIONS Effective management of the pole population will lead to significant capital replacement savings Overall the cost of managing a wooden pole population is low when the total value of the poles and their assets is considered. Usually inspection and treatment represents less than 10% of the replacement cost of poles, so the expenditure can be considered well spent, particularly when other meaningful maintenance programs can be derived for the same process. By maintaining control of these major assets, expenditure can be better planned and targeted to ensure a positive return. Reducing unplanned failures such as poles, eliminates high expense and possible damage claims and must improve supply reliability.

20 COST CONSIDERATIONS (continued)
Minimal equipment needed to install treatments Low cost of inspection Poles can have extended service life of >50 years Pole inspection can assist in effective maintenance planning of other assets Reduction in expensive pole failures and other unplanned failures Major capital replacement savings are achievable. Using the Australian experience and projecting this over a pole population of around 500,000 poles, replacement rates can reduce by 3 or 4 fold, with projected savings into millions of dollars (US).

21 HOW PRESCHEM CAN ASSIST IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A POLE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
Use of pilot studies and trials Product registration Development or refinement of standards and procedures Training programs Technical support Establishing a pole management program from either a basic level or refinement of an existing pole inspection programs to include remedial treatments takes some time and planning to achieve. Much can be learned about the most appropriate methods for inspection and the most suitable type of treatment using a series of pilot field trials. Trials of this nature need not be of a long duration, but rather targeted at providing important information on the local pole population and the impact of the surrounding environment and climate. Registration of a preferred remedial treatment can take between 3 months and 12 months depending on the Government authority, but this will ensure the selected treatment will be tested and proven to be safe and effective. As detail becomes known about poles and suitable treatments, processes can begin to become formalised in the form of written policies and procedures. Over time the documents will be further refined through various forms of feedback from both the field and management. Development of training facilities is also an important part of implementation of this type of change. Initially training will be required not only in regard to policy and procedure, but may also in application of treatments and possibly decay analysis techniques. Many Utilities extend training to include regular re-fresher training sessions that can deal with specific issues and provide a means of obtaining valuable feedback on the practical outworking of written procedures. Preschem has grown through this process with most Utilities that use our products. The broader our market, the more experience gained in assisting with this establishment. Preschem will willingly offer assistance to any Utility intending to embark on improvements to a pole management program.

22 SUMMARY A pole management program will extend the life of poles
Managed wooden poles are cost effective Data from pole inspection is an aid to maintenance planning Make use of Preschem support Some form of pole management program will exist with all Utilities. Establishing systems that will maximise the service life of poles can often be achieved without the need for huge budgets, sometimes just operating smartly or reviewing procedures can make a large impact and managing these assets. It makes financial sense to manage your pole population with wooden poles usually being so vast in number and therefore greatly contributing to the overall value of assets in an Electricity Network. Maintenance costs can be quite low and understanding asset condition and taking a proactive approach can reduce risks and transfer expenditure from unplanned to planned. Properly managed wooden poles will also prove to be the most cost effective option for distribution networks when compared with other forms of poles such as concrete or steel supporting overhead systems or underground cables where initial capital costs are high and long term maintenance somewhat complex. Preschem is more than willing to share extensive knowledge and experience to support Utilities wherever possible, so please feel free to talk to us.


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