REGIONAL Victoria could become a manufacturing hub for game-changing power lines that drive down the risk of catastrophic bushfires.
Groundline is establishing a warehouse in Bendigo in a move that could bring it one step closer to manufacturing its insulated power lines in Australia.
The Bendigo-based group developed its "covered conductors" - which slash the risk of fire by up to 99 per cent - in Australia but currently relies on a manufacturing hub in Sweden, director Ian Flatley said.
"The global supply chain issues are challenging at the moment," he said in reference to shipping problems triggered by the pandemic.
"We are looking at local warehousing here to meet the market."
The comments come at a pivotal time for the lines, which are now operating along increasing stretches of regional Australia.
Groundline staff met with member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan on Friday afternoon to thank her and the state government for opening doors during research and development.
"That government assistance has been key for us because without it we would not necessarily be here in this position," he said.
Stopping power lines from sparking bushfires was one of the key recommendations of a report into the 2009 bushfires which killed 173 people.
The need has only become more urgent after Victoria's auditor general said it was time to increase the speed of bushfire prevention technology rollouts, Mr Flatley said.
Technology like Groundline's covered conductors create a barrier between electrical wires and anything that may cause a spark of flame and are particularly useful when faults happen in high wind or extreme heat.
Groundline developed its covered conductors in partnership with Swedish group Amokabel, which uses similar technology to help power lines in extremely cold weather conditions.
"Sweden has problems with 'snow loading' and during really bad winters they cannot get out to fix their conductors," Mr Flatley said.
"We modified their conductor through an R&D program with the help of the government."
Multiple Australian groups have now embraced the technology including Powercor, which recently rolled out 19 kilometres of covered conductor near Bridgewater region and seven in Woodvale.
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