Delta lands contract for hydro work

Dunedin City Council-owned Delta Utility Services has been awarded a contract to operate and maintain a big part of Contact Energy's hydro-electricity generation system along the Clutha River.

Delta chief executive Grady Cameron announced the company had signed a two-year contract beginning in February, with the option of extending for a further two years.

It is the first contract awarded to Delta since it was appointed an ''approved supplier'' to Contact in August.

Mr Cameron declined to reveal the value of the contract.

Contact Energy has hydro-electric dams at Roxburgh and Clyde and also 18km of underground tunnels in the Cromwell Gorge which ''dewater'' hillsides alongside Lake Dunstan.

The underground equipment includes lighting, high-voltage transformers, pumps and radio communication systems.

Mr Cameron said Delta would maintain and operate this system and carry out the electrical testing of the four generators at the Clyde power station and eight at the Roxburgh power station.

He envisaged a need for a dedicated workforce of about 10 full- and part-time electrical and mechanical engineers.

Mr Grady said it was likely Delta would need to boost its Central Otago staff numbers to fulfill the contract.

- mark.price@odt.co.nz

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