Vandalized transformer removed from substation

Newfoundland Power says shooting incident will cost company $350K

Published on April 6, 2014
A crane lifts a gunshot-damaged transformer at Newfoundland Power’s Pulpit Rock Substation in Torbay on to the back of a transport truck. The police are investigating the incident.—Submitted photo courtesy of Brittany Parsons

Newfoundland Power says work to repair a vandalized transformer and clean up the resulting oil spill will cost the company at least $350,000.

On Saturday, local contractors helped remove a transformer after it was intentionally shot at earlier this month from the Pulpit Rock Substation in Torbay.

Newfoundland Power said the transformer was moved to its maintenance and repair facility where staff can replace its radiators. Once that work is completed, the transformer will go back to the substation.


Oil spilled, power out

An estimated 8,000 litres of oil was spilled when the transformer was damaged on April 1. The incident left 5,000 Newfoundland Power customers without power in the Torbay, Flatrock and Pouch Cove areas that morning.

Removal of the transformer will allow the company to also remove the concrete foundation pad it sits on and get into the soil to clean up the site.

“Our environmental consultants will now be in a position to dig up the soil beneath the foundation pad and continue with reclamation efforts immediately,” the company said in the statement to The Telegram.

Meanwhile, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is still investigating the incident.   

“Newfoundland Power remains highly concerned that a deliberate decision to shoot at electrical equipment was taken without any regard for the consequences,” the company said. “We cannot underscore enough the serious safety and environmental risks associated with an incident of this nature.”

According to the RNC, multiple shots were fired at the substation shortly after 3 a.m. Newfoundland Power previously said it will pay $5,000 to anyone with information leading to an arrest and conviction in relation to the vandalism.