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Project Update

Clutha─Upper Waitaki Lines Project, New Zealand [free access]

February 9, 2021

Developer: New Zealand’s national grid operator Transpower


Project details and status: The NZD197 million project involves the upgrade of 330 km of transmission lines between Clutha and the Upper Waitaki Valley to improve electricity supply to Southland during dry periods, and to allow additional generation to be exported from Southland.


The project involves five components. The first two components, involving the upgrade of the 220 kV Aviemore–Benmore stretch, were delivered in 2015 and 2016 at a cost of around NZD38 million. In 2020, the third component, entailing the thermal upgrade of the 220 kV Clyde─Cromwell─Twizel circuits, was also completed.


As of January 2021, construction work on the fourth component involving upgrade of a single-circuit, 220 kV transmission line between Roxburgh and Livingstone to a double-circuit line was started.  Work on the last component entailing the thermal upgrade of the Cromwell–Twizel section of the Roxburgh–Twizel 220 kV line is also expected to begin in late 2021.


The project is expected to be completed by 2022.