Temporary line will restore power to 10,000 homes

10:56 pm on 26 February 2011

Lines company Orion is fast-tracking an overhead power line that could give power to 10,000 customers in a week.

Power has been restored to more than 80% of Christchurch but Orion chief executive Roger Sutton says the biggest problem now is the eastern suburbs, which are fed by four underground cables that have suffered serious damage.

He says it would normally take months to repair them, so Orion is instead constructing an overhead line resistant to further aftershocks.

Mr Sutton says it would usually take six to seven weeks to build and perhaps several years to get consent for, but will build it in less than a week. He believes that once it gets the line going it will immediately restore power to 10,000 customers.

However, the company says good progress has been made in the suburb of Sumner, where more than half of homes now have power.

Mr Sutton says about 100 workers from around the country are working on the temporary line.