Oil is an essential component in the electricity distribution system. It is used in equipment such as high voltage transformers and other electrical items as an insulator.
Aurora has approximately 6 million litres of oil and 28,000 oil filled assets in service.
This oil becomes contaminated over time with electrical arcing and must be replaced periodically to remain effective in maintaining the equipment.
Aurora has established two oil recycling units, known as oil facilities, in the north and south of Tasmania. Approximately 200,000 litres of oil is removed from service annually and is either recycled by reconditioning or re-refining, blended for disposal or used as fuel for industry. This process is a significant savings in environmental and economic terms.
The re-refined oil also is sold to private customers and large industrial customers that operate their own substations.
Accidental oil spills from transformers are dealt with quickly and professionally. Aurora has specially-equipped oil spill trailers located around Tasmania to facilitate the containment and clean-up process and field employees are trained in their deployment.
In the last 12 months Aurora has removed approximately 30 tonnes of oil contaminated soil and this soil has been processed by bio-remediation before disposal as landfill.