Marcia response highly commended at awards
Published: 18 Nov 2015 11:23am
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Ergon Energy’s power restoration effort in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Marcia earlier this year has been recognised at the 2015 Premier’s Awards for Excellence.
“It’s gratifying to see such an effort, which saw more than 1000 utility workers and contractors restore power to more than 63,000 customers in 10 days, be highly commended in the Excellence in Performance category in this year’s awards,” said Ergon Chief Executive Ian McLeod.
“Restorations are a true team effort and it’s very timely to acknowledge the vital role played by other agencies, as well make special mention of the patience and understanding of our customers during the TC Marcia restoration.
“TC Marcia was a severe storm that disrupted many people’s lives. It wrought considerable damage to our network and other infrastructure,” he said.
“That period in late February was certainly a challenging time for many – especially for our own people – those Ergon personnel in Marcia’s path who firstly endured the storm and then became involved in the restoration.”
Mr McLeod said despite being without power for several days, media and customer sentiment had remained overwhelmingly positive; a reflection of public resilience and the extra focus placed on keeping customers informed using all available channels.
“We know Marcia is history. But as a utility that provides safe and reliable electricity to customers living in a part of Australia which endures storm, flood and cyclone we are always looking at how we can improve.
“A review of our performance in Marcia’s restoration was conducted and resulted in 11 recommendations, largely around planning and deeper engagement with local stakeholders if possible prior to future severe weather events,” he said.
“As we now ask customers to Be Prepared as another summer, another storm season, and another cyclone season looms, Ergon will apply our Marcia experience with the intention of making future restorations more effective and efficient.
“The Premier’s Awards for Excellence ‘recognise the outstanding achievements of initiatives, teams and individuals’, and there couldn’t be a more worthy finalist than Team TC Marcia Restoration 2015.”
On Friday 20 February 2015, Cyclone Marcia crossed the coastline between St Lawrence and Yeppoon, travelling overland affecting hundreds of kilometres of power lines.
At the height of the cyclone more than 63,700 customers were off-supply, with a total of 73,500 customers affected at some stage. In response, more than 1000 Ergon Energy and Energex staff and third-party contractors worked tirelessly to restore supply to hard-hit communities.
Within seven days of the cyclone, Ergon Energy restored more than 51,000 customers or 80 per cent of those impacted. The last were resupplied 10 days after the cyclone made landfall.
Media Contact: Mark Timmerman
Phone: (07) 4432 8731