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Brayden Crown from TLC’s southern team at work on a pole replacement job.

Major upgrade for local power supply

21 December 2023

A major upgrade to Taumarunui’s electricity supply will kick off in mid-January.

The Lines Company (TLC) has announced it will invest close to $1.4 million in upgrading Taumarunui’s electricity infrastructure, including a total replacement of aged assets including power poles, crossarms, lightning arrestors and more.

The work will see teams of around 24 specialists from contractors Omexom relocate and stay in the town from mid-January through to early March. They will work alongside the locally-based TLC crew who will take the opportunity to complete other maintenance while the major asset replacement work is underway.

TLC’s general manager – network Gerhard Buitendach said the project will future-proof the town’s energy supply for decades to come.

“This is an investment that has been planned and budgeted as part of our wider asset management plan across the whole network.  We are going to be replacing a lot of aged assets that are no longer as reliable as we would want so it’s very good news locally.”

“It’s going to mean a much more reliable and secure energy supply for Taumarunui in years to come.”

Buitendach said there would be around 28 planned power outages affecting different parts of the town while the work was undertaken. The first outage affecting some houses is scheduled for January 16.

“We can’t control the weather which has the potential to throw our plans out. But we will be doing everything we can to minimise disruption and that includes putting a big team in place on the ground to get the work done as fast as possible,” he said.

“We have already visited businesses that may be impacted to see how we can best work with them. And we have spoken directly to anyone who has advised us they are medically dependent on a power supply.”

He expected about 1,500 Taumarunui households to experience short-term power outages over the course of the eight week project but said most of the town’s main shopping area would not be impacted.

Information about what streets would be affected, where and when, will be published in local newspapers, as well as online at www.thelinescompany.co.nz.

There would also be information on TLC’s Facebook page and affected customers would be emailed directly, or sent letters, to warn of any short-term power outages.

“We know it will be inconvenient but it will be short-term and will mean a more secure and more reliable power supply in the future.  This will bring Taumarunui’s electricity infrastructure up to a very high standard and make for a much more reliable supply.”

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