Australian PM Julia Gillard welcomes Notts lighting
CANBERRA may be the capital of Australia but it is only now that it can put on day and night cricket matches. A group of Notts engineers from Abacus Lighting installed the sophisticated and iconic lights in time for the match between Australia and the West Indies.
As the West Indies launched their bowling attack against an Australian Prime Minister's XI, the team of engineers slept peacefully 11,000 miles away, knowing that if it wasn't for them, the game would never have been possible.
The day-night international, attended by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and government ministers was the first in the city's history.
Sutton-in-Ashfield firm Abacus beat off competition from around the world and, working to tight deadlines, engineers designed, developed and installed an innovative new floodlighting system for the stadium.
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In her speech after the game, won by Australia, Mrs Gillard praised the floodlights.
"The lights are a tribute to modern Canberra," she said.
As well as being an impressive new addition to the city's skyline, they mean the ground is able to attract world-class sporting events to Canberra in its centenary year.
The lighting levels mean the Manuka Oval will be able to stage both Australian Rules Football and cricket matches.
The shipping of the lighting structures was complex, with 180,000kgs of lighting travelling over land and sea.
The sea freight shipment was made up of 20 containers, while two large custom steel pallets were flown by Singapore Airlines from East Midlands and London Heathrow to Changhi Airport and then onto to Canberra Airport.
Abacus has used the latest technology to ensure that the Manuka Oval lighting is the most sophisticated of any ground in Australia.
Engineers made six bespoke 45-metre masts with a distinctive head frame to which 564 floodlights are attached.
Each mast contains four different types of light – wide, medium, narrow and extra-narrow – which are fanned out to ensure an equal coverage on the playing surface.
Trade and investment minister Lord Green said: "This is a multi-million-pound contract which has caused a real stir in Australia, highlighted by all the positive media attention it has attracted. And it's a real testament to how far this Notts business has come."
About 40% of Abacus contracts are won overseas. "This sets a great example to other small and medium-sized businesses, not only in the East Midlands but also around the UK," Lord Green added.
Ron Maginness, project manager of the Manuka project, said: "The design outcome of Manuka is outstanding and sets new standards for sports lighting throughout the world.
"It is a credit to the fabrication team at Abacus that the on-site assembly went together like clockwork."
Abacus managing director Andrew Morris-Richardson said the designs were "completely unique and iconic".
Abacus has completed an array of cricket stadiums worldwide, such as Lord's and Edgbaston, in the UK; Doha Cricket Stadium, Qatar; Kanpur Stadium, India; Kensington Oval, Barbados; and Emirates Cricket Ground, Dubai.