To allow for sufficient and increased energy supply before the busy holiday season, the team quickly mobilised to put a temporary solution in place. As the specialist marine cable was not available at the time and needed to be ordered from overseas, the team installed 300 metres of normal cable, and two joints in the middle of the harbour, which connected to the Tairua substation.
A circuit breaker (CB2) in Pauanui was damaged and out of service, leaving the area’s 1500 Installation Control Points (ICPs) on limited load capability. Powerco required urgent assistance as Pauanui is a popular holiday destination for many New Zealanders, and they needed to have sufficient energy supply to meet the demand on the network. The only option to restore essential energy services to the community, was to urgently overlay the cable in harbour (as the local supply could not maintain growing load demand if this work was not completed in time). This would’ve otherwise required High Voltage generation to be installed and maintained at huge cost for the entire Christmas period.
When the cable was damaged, Downer put in a temporary solution to help keep the energy supply running through to the local area. The team then returned seven months later to put a permanent underwater cable joint solution in place. The team worked through challenging weather conditions and tide patterns to complete the project, so timing was key!
Previously, this was not something Downer would normally offer as it required a very specific skillset. However, Downer ensured that the team had training and development, with experienced Jointers in the business mentoring younger team members. The crew also completed a specialist certification to become certified in underwater cable jointing.
To allow for work to be completed, the project was delivered off season, as the area mainly services holiday homes and Pauanui welcomes summer visitors every year.
Downer was able to broaden its capability through training and developing its talented people. This adds value to the Energy sector as a whole and enables us to provide specialist expertise for future projects.