Thieves steal copper from power pylons

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Copper theft in the Netherlands has spread from railway infrastructure to high-voltage electricity pylons. Power grid operator TenneT says kilometres of copper wires have been stolen in the southern province of Noord-Brabant.

Speaking on national radio on Friday morning, a spokesperson from TenneT warned of the dangers of stealing copper from the power mast. “It’s highly dangerous to climb up a mast with 150,000 volts running through the wires. If something goes wrong, then it goes totally wrong,” she said.

TenneT is not considering introducing extra security measures. “We have 10,000 kilometres of cable in the Netherlands. It’s impossible to implement security measures for all of them,” the spokesperson added.

Copper in the electricity masts is used as a lightning conductor, minimalising power failures.

Copper prices soaring The theft of copper wiring along Dutch railways has disrupted services regularly in the past months. Gangs disable swaths of the rail network by ripping out lines attached to track signals, which use copper to send control centre messages and signals.

The increase in trackside raids is linked to a demand for copper in India and China. Prices are presently reaching unprecedented levels.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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