Improvement work underway in Turangi
31 January 2020
The Lines Company (TLC) has confirmed on-the-ground work is now underway on replacing an aged and undersized back-up cable servicing Turangi and surrounding areas.
Physical works on the three-month project began in mid-January as part of major push to improve long-standing power resilience and supply issues around the town. The work will centre on Waipapa Road, past the Turangi Bridge Motel to SH1, across the Tongarairo Bridge and along SH1 to just past Gosling Grove. It will be undertaken by TLC contractors, Doing Good Group, with support from TLC staff.
The cable, which currently serves Gosling Grove, Grace Road and Te Herekiekie Street areas can be used as a back-up supply for Turangi township, Waiotaka and Kiko Road substation but has a limited capacity. It will be completely replaced to provide more capacity and signals one of two big pieces of work planned for the area. TLC is also planning on a major investment into a new back-up supply for Turangi with investigation work completed and design about to commence.
General manager – network Mike Fox said about four and a half years ago, around $300,000 was spent upgrading parts of the Turangi underground supply. This work is the next stage in improving reliability and resilience of energy supply as well as catering for forecast population growth, he said.
Overall, the Turangi work signalled in TLC’s Asset Management Plan is costed at around $2.5 million.
“The underground network around Turangi is ageing and in need of replacement and this is part of what will be a significant improvement on that part of our network,” Fox said.
“Across the whole of our network, we have a much stronger focus on making sure our assets are fit-for-purpose and provide our customers with a much more reliable energy supply. In that regard, Turangi has been identified as a priority.”
TLC warns the cable replacement will mean some scheduled power shut-downs from April, as well as short-term closures of the Tongariro Bridge. But those shut-downs and the bridge closures will be minimised and well-communicated in plenty of time, Fox said. TLC would speak directly to major businesses potentially affected by any shut-downs as well as customers medically-dependent on power.