The crucial $6m power upgrade to Tauranga's rapidly expanding industrial and residential areas at Tauriko has reached a major milestone.
Last week two transformers were installed as part of a new substation build at the business estate.
Powerco's general manager of asset management and network transformation Ryno Verster said the substation build was progressing well.
"The transformer installation is one critical milestone. Next is the completion of on-site work and the underground installation of cabling from the grid exit point at Greerton to the substation," he said.
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The major construction project was expected to be completed by mid-2018 and the new substation would cover the demands of the area for many years, Mr Verster said.
"The transformers will feed an 11,000-volt switchboard, which will in turn supply nine high voltage cables in the surrounding area."
"The incredibly fast growth of the industrial area and the surrounding residential development has placed considerable pressure on the current supply network. The new substation will enable continuing growth and enhance the reliability of supply," he said.
The Tauriko Business Estate is one of the biggest industrial parks in Australasia and comprises 200ha of developed lots.
The adjacent Lakes residential development of 1142 sections began in December 2012 and because of Tauranga's population growth is expected to be completed next year – eight years ahead of original estimates.
Powerco is New Zealand's second largest electricity utility and largest gas distribution utility with around 442,000 consumers connected to its networks. Powerco's electricity networks are in Western Bay of Plenty, Thames, Coromandel, Eastern and Southern Waikato, Taranaki, Whanganui, Rangitikei, Manawatu and the Wairarapa. Its gas pipeline networks are in Taranaki, Hutt Valley, Porirua, Wellington, Horowhenua, Manawatu and Hawke's Bay.