Power has been partially restored to Westport’s Holcim cement plant after a lightning strike at a Transpower substation knocked out electricity supplies to the plant.
Cement plant staff and Transpower contractors had been working long hours to restore power since the lightning strike yesterday morning, Holcim general manager, cement, Ross Pickworth said today. ``Power has now been partially restored, and available power is being reconfigured to maximise availability to plant operations,’’ he said.
Equipment at the plant near Cape Foulwind was being checked for any damage caused by the high winds. ``We have appreciated the help received from members of the Westport community who, when they heard we had lost all power, offered generators and other help to ensure we could maintain essential services,’’ Mr Pickworth said.
Staff were working to restart one of the plant’s three cement kilns by tonight.
The plant’s three other kilns were expected to be fully operational by the middle of the week, he said.