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Taranaki Combined Cycle Thermal Generation Plant

Media Release

Issued 18 November 2002-03 / 072

Contact and Genesis apply to acquire
Taranaki Combined Cycle Thermal Generation Plant

The Commerce Commission has received two separate applications to purchase 100% of the shares in Stratford Power Limited, a 100% owned subsidiary of Natural Gas Holdings Corporation Limited (NGC), and/or the assets of its Taranaki Combined Cycle Thermal Generation plant (TCC).

The applications are from Contact Energy Limited (Contact) and Genesis Power Limited (Genesis).

Contact’s application also seeks clearance to acquire all the shares in another NGC subsidiary, Cobb Power Limited, which owns the Cobb hydroelectric power station (Cobb).

The TCC plant is a combined cycle thermal generation plant situated at Stratford and is capable of generating 354MW. Cobb is a 32MW hydro station located north west of Nelson.

In considering the applications under the Commerce Act, the Commission’s role is to determine whether the merger has the effect of substantially lessening competition in any market.

Genesis was formed following the Government’s split of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand in 1999, and is one of three state-owned enterprises supplying energy and energy related services in New Zealand.

In addition to gas retail, Genesis is involved in the generation, wholesale and retail of electricity through a combination of hydro and thermal generation. Genesis owns seven power stations through the North Island, including the Huntly Power Station, Tongariro Hydro Scheme, Waikaremoana Hydro Scheme, Hau Nui Wind Farm in the Wairarapa and a number of co-generation plants.

Contact Energy was established by the New Zealand government in November 1995 to introduce competition in the electricity market. Contact commenced operations in early 1996 when it acquired a portfolio of electricity and gas assets from the state owned electricity generator ECNZ, and was privatised in October 1998.

In addition to gas wholesale and retail, Contact is involved in the generation, wholesale and retail of electricity through a combination of hydro, geothermal and thermal generation. Contact owns nine power stations including Clyde and Roxburgh hydro stations, Wairakei and Ohaaki geothermal stations, and Otahuhu B and New Plymouth thermal stations.

Public versions of both applications are available on request from the Commerce Commission.

Commission media releases can be viewed on its web site

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