Aurora Energy confirms key service providers to deliver its network programme

14 Aug 2018

Otago electricity network owner, Aurora Energy, has confirmed the key service providers it will use to deliver its works programme over the next five years, an important step in its maturity as standalone asset owner.

Aurora Energy Chief Executive Richard Fletcher said: “We are pleased to appoint Unison Contracting and Connetics as additional service providers alongside principal service provider, Delta. All three will carry out maintenance, renewal and development work on the electricity network; Unison Contracting in Dunedin, Connetics in Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes, and Delta across both areas.

“The move is a milestone for Aurora Energy as we reposition the business and secure the contracting resources we need for an increased level of planned work. The next major step will be the completion of the independent review of our network which we announced earlier this year. The review will further inform the level of planned work on our network and we will share the findings with our newly appointed contractors and wider stakeholders in October/November this year.

“Following a competitive process, we have agreed to enter into new multi-year (up to five years) agreements with Unison Contracting and Connetics. With this decision both contractors now have the necessary commitments to set up a local base in the region as they gear up for a 1 April 2019 start date.

“We are also pleased to confirm that Delta will continue as principal contractor to Aurora and will provide core field services, emergency and faults response, vegetation management and selected logistics services.

“Having two additional contractors based in the region will also enhance network resiliency, as they will be able to provide immediate, local support to Delta in response to emergencies such as major snow or wind storms.

“These arrangements provide certainty for Aurora Energy and its service providers. The framework is now in place to get the best service delivery outcomes for our customers. In addition to contracted field services, Aurora Energy will also tender major projects – such as new substation builds, line construction and underground cable installation - to pre-qualified firms.

“The region will also gain with the creation of local jobs and spill-over benefits to businesses and accommodation providers as, over the years, more contractors are employed on regional infrastructure upgrades and maintenance throughout the network.

“Today is a further step in establishing a stable, competitive market to support our network services across our operating region. Access to multiple service providers was one of the drivers behind establishing Aurora Energy as a standalone asset owner and brings greater transparency and accountability to network expenditure, which will ultimately benefit electricity consumers,” said Richard Fletcher.