Critical work on transmission assets must continue

30 March 2020

National electricity transmission grid owner and market operator Transpower advises it needs to be doing critical work during New Zealand’s four-week shut down period, alongside its key suppliers and service providers.

Chief Executive Alison Andrew says crews must continue to work on and around the transmission lines and in substations to ensure critical infrastructure is maintained and assets continue to power New Zealand communities.  

“The safety of workers is the company’s top priority. We have taken a very close look at the existing work programmme, cancelled what we can and reprioritised the remainder to ensure we are both maintaining critical infrastructure while staff ‘stay in their bubble’ for this current period.

 “Transpower is working with our partners to ensure well established systems and processes are in place to ensure both the safety of crews and the security of supply across a range of different scenarios.

  • Work non-essential to support a reliable and safe service over the next four weeks, and the coming months has been halted
  • No work that results in a loss-of-supply will occur during the lock down unless it is required as a result of an unplanned outage and urgent repairs are needed.
  • Outage response crews are on stand-by to respond to unplanned outages that may occur due to weather events or equipment failure
  • Transpower’s team are working from home unless unable to do so due to the nature of the work such as the teams working in our control centres, which are restricted zones.
  • Additional cleaning and sanitization steps are in place for our control rooms and shift changes are carefully managed.
  • Our incident management teams are meeting daily to monitor and manage potential impacts on the Grid, the market system and our people.

“Electricity is an essential service for everyone in New Zealand and we must continue with our maintenance and condition-based field work to prevent faults and outages from occurring.

“We ask for the community’s understanding when they see our people out and about.

“We are reviewing our whole work programme, and deferring works where it is deemed too risky, or not required to ensure ongoing reliable and safe supply of our critical service.

“Our key service providers and suppliers are also a key part of supporting us through this period to ensure we can complete the work needed and keep this critical service functioning reliably.

“We are working closely with them and with our staff to ensure all the necessary steps are taken to keep everyone safe from both the spread of illness and risks associated with electricity.

“It is critical that we keep the Grid maintained and in good condition.”

 

 

For further information, please contact:   

Corporate Communications Team 021 195 8613.