All hands were on deck to install the new half cover over Dunder Dam No. 1 at our Oonooie site, near Sarina, on 13 December.
A team of 40, including employees from our BioEthanol Distillery, AgServices team and Plane Creek Mill, were on site at 5am to pull the giant cover over the dunder dam within a critical five-hour window.
BioEthanol Mechanical Works Coordinator Brenden Aslette and Capital Works Coordinators Melanie McGinley and Chris Lamb had prepared the site over several weeks to ensure the installation went smoothly.
Capital Engineer Aaron Cheng, who managed the project, said it was important to install the dam cover ahead of the wet season.
“The cover is there to prevent rain from entering dunder dams as water will dilute the valuable nutrients we have stored in them,” he said.
“The exercise required perfect weather and careful planning to ensure it was completed safely. We needed a very still, dry day, with minimal wind gusts,” Aaron said.
“Wind is very dangerous as it can lift and drag the cover, which is already heavy and difficult to manoeuvre.”
The purpose-built polyethylene cover measures 132m by 94m and weighs about five tonnes.
It came in three pieces that had to be welded together with a specialised tarp welder on the day – a task that could not be done in rainy conditions.
The cover is made from polyethylene reinforced polyester fabric. It has been engineered to be lightweight and able to withstand harsh conditions.
Dunder is a co-product of our Sarina BioEthanol Distillery, where molasses is fermented to produce ethanol for fuel and industrial applications.
The dunder stored in the dams forms the basis of our renewable liquid fertiliser and stockfeed products, which are marketed as Bio Dunder® liquid fertilisers and SuplaFlo® liquid stockfeeds.