National power grid operator Transpower said costs arising from Cyclone Gabrielle were expected to be significant, but said the assets affected were insured.
The state-owned company, in reporting its first-half result, said it was in the early stages of modelling the financial impacts of the cyclone.
Due to the significant and extensive damage to Transpower assets, power was lost to the Hawkes Bay and Gisborne regions and the company declared a grid emergency.
Restoring power to affected regions had been an immediate priority and Transpower has accordingly deferred some less-urgent work and regular maintenance, it said.
“As a consequence of Cyclone Gabrielle we have shifted our immediate focus to reconnecting disconnected customers and addressing the significant remediation issues,” chief executive Alison Andrew said.
Transpower’s Redclyffe substation - near Taradale – was inundated during the cyclone, causing extensive damage after flood waters reached heights exceeding 1.5 metres inside the control room.
The company’s result showed its net profit for the six months to December came to $63.9 million, down 23.5 per cent on the previous comparative period, due to higher operating expenses.
Capital expenditure was $172.7m, up 19.8 per cent.
Transpower declared an interim dividend of 4 cents a share or $48m.
Chair Dr Keith Turner said the resourcing impacts of Covid-19 were still being felt across the industry, along with continuing supply-chain disruption.
He said increases in operating expenses showed the financial implications of an uncertain labour market in New Zealand.
But Turner said the company was well placed to deliver the substantial volume of work that will be necessary to support customers’ needs in the coming years.