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LUMA repairs Ciales transmission line that serves 25K customers

LUMA Energy announced that it recently completed repairs on Line 36100, a 70-year-old Dos Bocas to Ciales transmission line, which the company said had no documented maintenance history and whose work now provides a “significant reliability impact on 25,000 customers.”

The repair involved elevating a tower structure performed through a helicopter lift operation as part of LUMA’s infrastructure improvement efforts, the power utility stated.

For the task, the company utilized the Super Puma helicopter, known for its substantial lifting capacity. The helicopter hoisted a fully assembled 6,986-pound Guyed V-string tower to its designated location in less than 30 minutes, the company stated.

The work zone was segmented into three areas to ensure worker safety and operational efficiency. The landing zone, reserved for observation, had four workers; a traffic control zone managed road closures along the flight path; while the final zone, where the tower was installed, involved 14 additional workers. 

The strategy ensured the safety of the workers, while “allowing for a timely and secure completion of the operation,” company officials said.

“The division of work zones is a critical component of our commitment to the well-being of our field workers,” stated Shay Bahramirad, LUMA’s senior vice president of Engineering and Asset Management and Capital Program. 

“It not only ensured their safety during the intricate helicopter lift operation, but also facilitated a well-coordinated and efficient workflow. Safety is paramount in all our operations,” she said.

This overhaul is part of LUMA’s comprehensive plan for Line 36100, which was constructed in the 1950s and was underperforming. The repair of the segment where the structure is located and its repair will benefit thousands of customers.

The work involves replacing 129 structures, with 70 requiring helicopter assistance. The coordinated outages required for these replacements are planned to take place only on weekends, with no expected disruption to customers, LUMA stated.

The utilization of helicopter operations was necessitated by the challenging geography of the structures’ locations, officials said.

“The groundbreaking aspect of these operations lies in the revolutionary method of transportation,” Bahramirad said. “Our commitment to innovation persists, driven by the goal of delivering unparalleled benefits to our customers and contributing to the progress of Puerto Rico’s energy landscape.”

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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