Western Power, WA has announced its 12/13 mid-year results, including significant cost savings, safety improvements and infrastructure upgrades.

Highlights include:

  • Significant improvement in safety from 0.8 to 0.3 LTIFR*
  • $16.1M cost saving
  • 30,799 Wood pole reinforcements – up 87% on 12/13 mid-year results
  • 12,921 Wood pole replacements – up 65% on 12/13 mid-year results
  • Opex: outperforming ERA’s targets
  • Mid West Energy Project – $12M saving
  • No Type 1 Breaches

Western Power achieved cost savings of $16.1 million in the first half of the 2013/14 financial year compared to the first half of 2012/13. This followed the $25.5 million year-on-year cost savings achieved in 2012/13.

CEO Paul Italiano said early achievements were flowing from the new operational model embedded in the past six months which focuses on improving work practices and cost efficiencies.

“Our operating expenditure is currently tracking at a rate lower than the target set by the ERA, that includes a 2 percent cost efficiency.

“Our employees have embraced the clear priorities of delivering safe, reliable and affordable electricity to Western Australians.

“The operational improvement changes are gaining momentum, and at the same time we invested the largest amount ever in bushfire prevention.

“Our mid-year results show record numbers of wood pole replacements and reinforcements were achieved in the second half of 2013,” he said.

In the six months to December 2013 Western Power crews reinforced 30,799 wood poles and replaced 12,921 wood poles. These are 87 percent and 65 percent increases respectively on the equivalent 2012/13 period.

Western Power continues to invest in the future in one of the largest infrastructure projects in Australia – its Mid West Energy Project.  This project has a perfect safety record and is tracking to deliver identified savings of $12 million.

Capital expenditure overall has risen $93.5 million compared with the same period last year due to the increased focus on improving the state of the network.

“It is a significant achievement that we are currently meeting our regulatory challenge and working within our means. The increase in capital expenditure reflects the need to invest in replacing or treating the ageing network assets that pose a risk to public safety.

“This investment is required for Western Power to meet our own expectations and those of government, the Office of EnergySafety and our customers, and to overcome decades of underinvestment.

“Even with our widespread progress, the network will continue to need increasing levels of investment to improve the safety of power lines and poles and deliver transmission line upgrades to maintain customer reliability,” said Mr Italiano.

Western Power will in future seek funding for ongoing safety programs as well as projects to ensure reliable power supplies while meeting economic growth.

Mr Italiano said, “While we continue to focus on the fundamental areas of our business, I am confident that we remain on track to deliver further performance improvements.”

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