Unison to help deliver network programme for Aurora Energy

April 02, 2019 01:20 PM
Unison Group Chief Executive, Ken Sutherland and Aurora Energy Chief Executive, Richard Fletcher.
Unison Contracting Services has formally entered into a multi-year Field Services Agreement (FSA) with Aurora Energy to help deliver Aurora Energy’s network programme, with the new contracts started yesterday.

A wholly owned subsidiary of electricity distribution business, Unison Networks, Unison Contracting Services will carry out maintenance, renewal, and development work on Aurora Energy’s electricity network in Dunedin.

The FSA formalises the current working relationship between Unison Contracting Services and Aurora Energy, which began when Unison Contracting Services was selected to partner with Aurora Energy to undertake their Fast Track Pole Programme in 2016.

The Fast Track Pole Programme focused on the replacement of overhead assets within the region and upon completion of their initial programme in December 2017, Unison Contracting Services was invited to remain in the area to assist Aurora Energy with other essential work.

"Unison Contracting Service’s performance and the positive relationships we built during that time positioned us well for a long-term partnership with Aurora Energy, which has been recognised by Unison Contracting Services being appointed as an additional service provider after a competitive process,” said Unison Group Chief Executive, Ken Sutherland. 

While Unison Contracting Services’ initial involvement with Aurora Energy was limited to overhead poles, the formalised agreement covers a much wider range of service provision, including design.

“The agreement we have reached with Aurora Energy exemplifies the capabilities of our group and our ability to collaborate and work with other Network Companies,” Mr Sutherland said.

Aurora Energy Chief Executive Richard Fletcher said the new FSA with Unison would focus on carrying out maintenance, renewal and development work on the Aurora Energy network in the Dunedin area.

“Following on from the FSA already signed with Connetics for the Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes area, this is an important step forward for Aurora Energy to ensure we can efficiently carry out our major investment programme over the coming years,” Mr Fletcher said.

“We are in the early stages of a major programme of network renewal and investment to ensure our network is safe and reliable and meets the future needs of our customers and the new FSA with Unison will help us deliver that programme.

“These arrangements introduce contestability into our field service delivery and provide certainty for Aurora Energy and our contracting partners,” said Mr Fletcher.

Unison Contracting Services has built permanent capacity in Dunedin to efficiently meet the expanded scope of work covering maintenance, renewal and development work on Aurora Energy’s Dunedin Electricity Network.

The negotiation of new contracts with Aurora Energy’s principal contractors Delta, Connetics and Unison Contracting was started in August last year and over the past year all three contractors have been supporting Aurora Energy on delivering on its major programme of work. Connetics and Unison, as new contractors, have been gearing up for an April 1 start under the new contract arrangement.