ARANZ Geo is extending its global influence into new areas to contribute geological understanding to the management of some of the earth’s significant environmental and climate change driven challenges.
ARANZ Geo CEO Shaun Maloney says: "We’re contributing to a wider variety of projects that target some of the major global environment and energy challenges we face. This is a shift from our origins as a mining-centric business, and will increase our reach and depth to open up a new world of opportunity.
"Our strategy is already gaining traction. We’re contributing to geothermal energy work with NGOs around the world, hydro dams in Turkey, transport tunnels in the EU, and a wide range of water quality and resource management projects."
New Insight on California’s Threatened Groundwater Aquifers
Adam Pidlisecky, ARANZ Geo’s Chief Research Officer and Professor at the University of Calgary, has been instrumental in improving understanding of large-scale aquifers in Monterey. Pidlisecky collaborated with Stanford University and the University of Calgary to use geophysical methods to study saltwater intrusion along the California coastline. He is a co-author of the landmark study resulting from this work, which brings new insight into the extent of coastal seawater infiltration in the region’s groundwater aquifers.
"Groundwater management for long-term use is a really challenging problem from multiple perspectives: technical, cultural and economic," says Pidlisecky.
"The exciting part of this work is that we have been able to touch on all of these. By sharing results online via interactive models we’re also helping to improve stakeholder engagement, critical for ground water management."
Maloney is particularly supportive of this work. "This work is something we as a New Zealand founded company are proud to be a part of. World leaders and governments can no longer ignore the fact that clean water is a critical resource globally and becoming more so day by day. The quantity and quality of accessible groundwater is directly linked to the health, wealth and stability of their economy and people."
Yusufeli Dam, Turkey
ARANZ Geo technology is also contributing to the Yusufeli dam and hydroelectric power plant project, currently under construction the Coruh valley in the north-east of Turkey, which will be the third highest arch dam in the world. The dam will have a height of 273m, capacity of 2.2 billion cubic metres, a reservoir size of 33.63km²; and energy production of 540MW, 1,827GWh/yr.
Maloney says: "Consulting heavy-weight iC consulenten based in Austria has a team of engineering geological and geotechnical experts using Leapfrog Geo to establish computer-based 3D ground models for the project. These models help bring a new level of insight into site investigation and excavation design."
The Karavanke Tunnel, Slovenia
Design teams in Austria and Slovenia are working on the second tube for the Karavanke tunnel, a 7,820m-long two-lane tunnel tube through the Alps. The tunnel adds to the existing tube of the Karavanke Tunnel constructed in the 1980s, a critical section on the Pan-European Transport Corridor X.
Elea iC is the leading partner of the Joint Venture Karavanke on the Slovenian side, whilst iC consulenten is a partner of the ‘Planungsgemeinschaft Karawankentunnel’ on the Austrian side. Leapfrog Geo is used for geological modelling for both projects.
"The geology in the area is very complex and the initial tunnel encountered difficult geological conditions with frequent strong water inflow, overbreaks and methane seeps. The opportunity with the new Karavanke tunnel is to test emerging technologies and move engineering geology, geotechnics and tunnelling to another level by using 3D modelling in this design phase of the project," says Maloney.
The need to effectively model geological complexity in urban areas is highlighted by the work iC consulenten are undertaking on the Vienna Subway project. The highly complex inner-city construction site includes a number of overlapping projects such as rail infrastructure, real-estate, and road.
Maloney says: "There are a wide range of stakeholders for this project, including the City of Vienna, local residents, and private investors to name a few. We’re extremely proud our software is empowering stakeholders involved in critical environmental and economic decisions, to minimise the potential impacts to the environment."
Adding Value in Developing Countries
ARANZ Geo is also working with non-government organisations (NGOs) to add value in developing countries. The work is extremely rewarding according to Maloney.
"We’ve upskilled geothermal professionals across East Africa so they can use Leapfrog software on the increasing number of renewable energy operations. We’re also working with a relief group in Saharan Africa to enable groundwater evaluations for siting new wells in refugee and aide camps in the area."
ARANZ Geo are now contributing technology and solutions to enable dozens of earth, environmental and energy projects around the world, both from their global headquarters in New Zealand, as well as, from a score of offices around the world.