Work to recommence on Transpower’s Clutha Upper Waitaki Lines Project

03 December 2019

Transpower New Zealand today announced it has entered into separate agreements with Contact Energy and Meridian Energy to commence further work on its Clutha Upper Waitaki Lines Project (CUWLP) on the national electricity transmission network.

Transpower Chief Executive Alison Andrew welcomed the agreements with Contact Energy and Meridian Energy, which will fund the immediate commencement of work due to the impact of current transmission constraints and the potential for these impacts to be exacerbated in future.

The CUWLP consists of five projects approved by the Electricity Commission in 2010. Two critical projects were completed in 2016 before work ceased. The project was to recommence once an increased northward transfer of South Island generation was expected to be required.

Recent speculation and uncertainty regarding the future of the Tiwai aluminium smelter has led to a review of the transmission network and a decision by Transpower to recommence work on two of the remaining three projects.

Transpower will commence tower strengthening works in the summer of 2019-2020, to enable duplexing of the Roxburgh-Livingstone circuits during the summers of 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Other enabling works will also commence, including the thermal upgrade of the Cromwell-Twizel circuits, required to ensure supply is maintained during outages needed on the Roxburgh-Livingstone circuits during the duplexing work.

This will expedite the completion of the CUWLP, allowing for the required northward transfer of generation, should Tiwai reduce or cease its operations and demand for electricity.  Transpower will continue to assess opportunities to accelerate the remaining works further over the coming months and is in discussions with the Commerce Commission and customers in this regard.

For further information, please contact:

Deborah Gray, Corporate Communications Manager on 04 590 7631 or 021 624 170.