Contracting Capabilities

Northpower provides contracting services across the North Island including engineering, infrastructure management and maintenance and construction.

Innovating for safe and environmentally friendly cable repairs

Location: Whitford, Auckland
Start date: 21/03/2022
Completion date: 25/03/2022
Project partners: Transpower, AIS, NZ Jointing Solutions
Key people involved: Northpower SSC HV Cables Team, Coat of Arms, EMCO

Innovative solutions

In October 2021, Transpower faced a critical issue with a 220kV cable joint failure along Caldwells Road in Whitford, Auckland. This failure posed a significant risk to the region’s power supply, requiring urgent action. Northpower was tasked with locating and repairing the cable fault.

Given the location and scale of the job, our team looked for innovative solutions to ensure repairs were made safely and effectively. A purpose-built scaffold structure spanning the length of the 28m joint bay was engineered to withstand strong winds. An airtight wrapped structure was also constructed within the joint bay to enable safe sandblasting of the cable cores, removing enamel coating without environmental contamination.

Specialised technology

The wrap structure was fitted with an extraction fan and a special particle-capture device, as well as a zip door, to ensure that the sandblasting dust and grit was extracted and contained. Keeping the team safe was – as always – paramount throughout the repair process.

Specialised personal protective equipment (PPE), including suits and helmets connected to a compressor and air filtering system, ensured our people had clean air during sandblasting operations, mitigating health risks from inhaling particles and grit.

Minimise enviromental impacts

Efforts were made to minimise environmental impacts by containing sandblasting activities within a purpose made particle capture sock outside the work zone. This proactive approach reduced the risk of contaminating the cable joint bay or the surrounding environment and reinforces our commitment to environmental responsibility.

The repair was safely executed and met all Transpower’s specifications, enhancing the security of the region’s power supply. Staying true to our core Northpower behaviours, including, safety, teamwork, and accountability, contributed to the successful completion of the project without incident.

Our long-standing relationship with Transpower is built on our ability to safely deliver critical infrastructure and repairs, using innovative solutions, safety measures, and environmental responsibility to achieve outstanding outcomes for our people, our clients and our environment.