Galvanized Steel Transmission Structures in Northern BC, Canada

For the last three months, Matergenics has been inspecting galvanized steel transmission structures which transfer power from a generating system an aluminum smelting plant. This critical infrastructure ensures adequate power to the plant which solidifies Canada as a world-wide leader in aluminum production. The line itself includes nearly 315 structures which traverse some of British Columbia’s most rugged terrain, which is home to diverse wildlife and vegetation. Matergenics plays a key role in assessing the current state of the structures. Our assessment procedures include visual inspection of higher elevation components, electro-chemical analysis, soil resistivity testing, galvanized thickness measurements, and hand excavation for below grade visual inspection. Concrete compressive strength tests are also used on structures with encased footings. Soil samples are then collected for in-house lab testing to determine corrosive parameters. After analyzing the documented results, the towers are then categorized and rated based on acceptable corrosion risk. The next course of action is determined, by either establishing a recurring inspection interval, or recommending expedited action by the installation of a cathodic protection system. These critical assessments reveal the health of the infrastructure and determine the remaining life, which ensures British Columbia’s continuation of aluminum smelting operations for generations to come.