Downer finalist in NZTE Awards

Dower New Zealand is one of 27 Kiwi companies nominated as a finalist for the 2012 New Zealand International Business Awards.

Dower New Zealand is one of 27 Kiwi companies nominated as a finalist for the 2012 New Zealand International Business Awards.

The awards, which will be handed out by the government-funded agency New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and ANZ on March 31, celebrate businesses that help grow and transform the New Zealand economy.

Downer New Zealand has been nominated for two awards, Best Business Operating Internationally – Over $50m for the its involvement in the Vanuatu Transport Infrastructure Compact project and Best Use of Research and Development in International Business for its application of cold mix asphalt on the Pacific Island of Kiritimati.

Best Business Operating Internationally – Over $50m
Downer New Zealand, in partnership with AECOM, designed and constructed 150km of road upgrade on the islands of Efate and Santo including, 92km of the Efate Ring Road and 58km of the Santo East Coast Road in Vanuatu, as part of the Vanuatu Transport Infrastructure Compact project.

The design and construct programme was delivered five months ahead of schedule and on budget, including approximately double the tender volume of aggregate and an additional 270,000m2 of bitumen sealing.

The goal of the Compact was to have a transformative impact on Vanuatu’s economic development by increasing average income per capita within five years and directly impact the lives of more than 65,000 poor, rural inhabitants – almost a third of the entire population.

Best Use of Research and Development in International Business
Downer NZ’s cold mix asphalt solved an infrastructure conundrum, enabling the small nation of Kiribati to reopen its international airport three years after it closed due to the poor state of the runway.

The Pacific nation of Kiribati desperately needed its Kiritimati Island airport to reopen but it couldn’t afford a $5 million asphalt plant, or the large supplies of bitumen and energy required to patch the runway with traditional hot mix asphalt.

The airport closed in 2008 amid safety concerns about its crumbling 50-year-old runway, creating significant impact on food supplies, travel and tourism for the island. 

To overcome the need for a hot mix asphalt batching plant, Downer New Zealand researched and developed a cold mix asphalt solution - it could be stored in shipping containers, was stable for three months in tropical heat, and had sufficient strength to withstand heavy traffic loadings within 10 days.
The temporary repairs at Cassidy International Airport were extremely successful. After patching the runway with cold mix asphalt to get the airport reopened, Downer New Zealand was awarded the contract to permanently fix the runway.