One of the biggest underground power projects undertaken in the metropolitan area has been completed on time and on budget.
Energy Minister Francis Logan said 1,348 households and businesses in Fremantle had been connected to underground power as part of the $10.595million project.
“The completion of the Fremantle project provides major benefits to consumers in the Fremantle area, as they are provided with a safer and more reliable standard of electricity supply,” Mr Logan said.
“Connecting to underground power also ensures more attractive and evenly lit streets and helps to reduce power interruptions caused by external factors like car accidents, falling debris and severe weather.”
The project covered one of the main approaches to Fremantle along Queen Victoria Street, as well as the nearby residential area of Vale, Dorothy, Tuckfield and Shuffrey Streets and the bigger residential area bounded by Cannington, High, East and Marmion Streets.
Work began in June 2006.
The cost of the project is shared between the State Government, Western Power and Fremantle ratepayers benefiting from the project. The State Government and Western Power each contribute 25 per cent, and the local government 50 per cent.
Fremantle MLA Jim McGinty congratulated Western Power and the City of Fremantle for their vision and foresight in working together to deliver this important project on time and on budget.
Mr McGinty said the underground power project had improved streetscapes and certainly enhanced property values.
“This project has made an immediate difference to these streets and the improved electricity reliability is an added bonus for Fremantle residents,” he said.
Western Power managing director Doug Aberle said the Fremantle project had been one of the toughest undertaken by the underground power team.
Mr Aberle said most of the area that was excavated consisted of about 40 per cent rock and limestone, presenting significant challenges when trying to underground cables.
“Heritage constraints to do with old limestone walls and heritage-listed trees also provided challenges for the undergrounding team,” he said.
“It was a tribute to our contractors and site people that we were able to deliver this project on time and within budget.”
Mr Logan said the State Government’s Underground Power Program had provided an underground power supply to more than 61,000 households and businesses throughout WA, including the new connections in Fremantle.
“Just over 47 per cent of properties in the Perth metropolitan area are now benefiting from an underground power supply and we are on track to reach our target of 50 per cent by 2010,” he said.
There are currently four major underground residential projects in the metropolitan area and two localised enhancement projects in regional areas being implemented, with more scheduled to be undertaken as part of Round Four of the underground power project.
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