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Business Award Winner

Timaru-based company Infratec​ has been recognised as one of the leading enterprises in Canterbury.

The subsidiary of Netcon, Alpine Energy's service company won the Champion Global Operator small enterprise category in the 2016 Champion Canterbury Business Award.

Infratec works in the renewable energy, high voltage networks and alternative fuels fields in New Zealand and overseas. Champion Canterbury Director Leeann​ Watson said the company's innovative products, passionate people and challenging markets put it ahead of others in its category. There were six entrants in the small enterprise category.

Infratec Chief Executive Steve McCoy said the company's staff had grown from three, three years ago, to 11 today. Its first overseas project was installing solar power in Afghanistan. It also works in the South Pacific and has recently signed a contract in Kiribati.

McCoy said the company was passionate about bringing what is almost a right - electricity - to areas that have never had it before. "In the Pacific Islands we have been converting diesel produced electricity to solar power. That has lifestyle benefits such as no more noise pollution or CO2 emissions and reduced cost," McCoy said. "While we are doing these projects, we engage with the community to improve the lives of people living in village. We engage local people in the projects so they have work they didn't have before and gain skills from teaching on things we take for granted around health and wellbeing," McCoy said.

The win also identified expansion opportunities for the business, he said. "We have had people involved in eco tourism businesses looking for potential power at huts where there are no power lines," he said. Champion Canterbury chairman Peter Townsend said the 145 entries in the 14th awards showcased the region's incredible talent and presented a real challenge for the expert panel of 35 judges.