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Power stays on after Lyttelton mudslide

Wednesday 11 April 2012, 4:23PM

By Orion Communications

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LYTTELTON

Geotechnical engineers continue to assess the land above Orion's Simeon Quay substation in Lyttelton after a mudslide damaged the substation this morning.

Power supply in the area* has been unaffected so far, and Orion is optimistic that power will stay on unless further slips cause more damage.

The substation supplies power to 1000 customers, including the Lyttelton port.

"The Lyttelton substation was part of our successful seismic strengthening programme started in the 1990s, and that preparation definitely helped the building to stand up to today's events," says Orion Chief Executive  Rob Jamieson.

"We are working on contingency plans to keep the power on in case there are further slips and the building can no longer withstand the weight of mud and rubble."

If power does go out due to damage at the substation, there will be a two step process to restore electricity to the 1000 affected customers.

First, diesel generators will be put in place to supply power where possible.

Secondly, Orion contractors will dig up and cut existing underground power cables to reconfigure the network and get electricity into the area.