Orion earthquake response - Canterbury Earthquake

Orion earthquake response. Latest update – 10.00am Wednesday 2 March 2011. Main points. • We are aiming to restore power to 87% of customers by the end ...
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Orion earthquake response Latest update – 10.00am Wednesday 2 March 2011 Main points • We are aiming to restore power to 87% of customers by the end of today. • The percentage increases we are able to announce each day at this point is relatively small. This is because we are now working in areas where there is very significant earthquake damage to the power system. • In the wider Brighton Dallington area we have now identified over 80 faulted 11 kV cables, and expect this number to grow to well over 100. An 11 kV cable takes power to anywhere between 100 and 3000 homes. They are the second level ‘pipes’ in the system, multi-layered and around 10 cm thick. In each cable we are finding up to four faults caused by the earthquake. Repair work is progressing as fast as possible, but takes time. A mobile cable repair facility arrives in Christchurch tomorrow from the North Island. • We have started to inspecting the suburban power network in the eastern suburbs (eg street transformers), moving west from Brighton beach. This is another important step in being able to restore power to these areas • The transformer installed yesterday at the Brighton substation is being tested today. If it passes all safety tests, we will liven the substation tomorrow, and begin connecting customers in Dallington and Brighton from Friday onwards. We caution that it will be a slow process of customer reconnection in these areas due to the faulted cables, and we cannot say at this point which customers will come on first. • 26,000 customers remain to be reconnected. • We remain very focused on trying to achieve our 95% reconnection target by the end of Sunday this week. This target excludes customers who cannot be connected because of property damage, and the parts of the CBD which are off limits. We await Civil Defence permission to enter these areas. Important messages for consumers • Please conserve electricity at this time. The capacity of the power network is limited, and lower demand enables us to ‘share it around’. Turn off unnecessary appliances such as heated towel rails, and keep lights etc to a minimum. • Due to the heavy load on our contact centre, please DO NOT call our help line at this time unless it is an emergency. We have many urgent priorities at this time. • If you are leaving your home, or do not have the power back on yet, turn the power off at the main switch, unplug all appliances at the wall and make sure the stove is turned off. This reduces the risk of fire when the power is restored. The Fire Service today reported they have attended three small house fires after power was restored. • The fragile nature of the network means there will inevitably be small unexpected power losses from time to time in areas already reconnected.

ENDS For further information, contact: Roger Sutton, CEO: 0274 333 632 Orion Media Phone: 0275 055 761