Oil is an essential component in the electricity system. It is used in equipment such as high voltage transformers and other electrical items as an insulator.
TasNetworks has millions of litres of oil and approximately 30,000 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.
TasNetworks has 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. TasNetworks 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.