Underground power revitalises Broome CBD

The historic Chinatown precinct in Broome, Western Australia, will switch over to underground power following the completion of a Horizon Power program to replace aged overhead powerlines.

WA Energy Minister Mike Nahan visited Broome to mark the completion of the $3.6 million Broome CBD Electrical Distribution Asset Replacement Program.

Under the program, Horizon Power replaced existing overhead power infrastructure in eight major streets with an underground power network.

The State Government-owned power company worked closely with the Shire of Broome, which provided additional funding for reinstatement works.

Work began in August 2012 and the final changeover to underground operation was completed on April 30 this year.

Dr Nahan said the program has improved the Chinatown area aesthetically and will ensure an increased security of power supply to the cyclone-prone town.

“Power outages in the CBD have been a major problem in the past due to cyclones and storms regularly hitting the Broome region,” he said.

“With underground power now in place, power outages for the CBD will be reduced.”

Community engagement was a major focus for the Horizon Power team, who also had to work around significant heritage and environmental responsibilities while respecting the overriding cultural values of the area.