New Zealand-based electricity and gas distributor Powerco has successfully completed maintenance work on the line supplying electricity to Whitianga, Coromandel and the surrounding areas.

Electricity supply to approximately 9,000 consumers was shut down for around six hours while Powerco carried out critical maintenance work. As part of the maintenance, crews replaced a number of poles, cross-arms and insulators on the 66,000 volt line that is the sole source of supply into the top of the Coromandel Peninsula.

Ross Dixon, network operations manager, said: Powerco had multiple crews so that the planned shutdown was as short as possible while still allowing us sufficient time to install the new equipment safely. Powerco also had tree trimming contractors undertake work to clear trees from near overhead lines as part of the project.

Trees are a major cause of outages and, with the lines out of service, our contractors were able to remove a large number of trees and branches that could potentially have caused damage to the network in future years.