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Maui Gas Outage – 5 February 2003

Maui Gas Outage – 5 February 2003

Contact Energy Ltd advises that as a result of an incident at the Maui gas platform on the morning of Wednesday, February 5, there was an interruption to the normal supply of gas to Contact’s thermal plants. As a result of the Maui gas interruption, Contact’s gas-fired generation plant ceased production over the course of that afternoon.

Contact implemented a number of measures to increase generation from other sources. These included running the diesel-fired Otahuhu-A station, returning a geothermal unit from maintenance to production, obtaining partial output from the New Plymouth power station for a brief period using non-Maui gas, and releasing stored water from Lake Hawea to increase hydro generation. However, these measures did not fully offset the loss of normal thermal capacity.

Owing to the Maui gas interruption, Contact also invoked force majeure clauses in contracts for electricity supply to several of its largest customers.

Gas supply from Maui resumed at approximately 10.15pm on 5 February. Contact’s thermal generation was progressively restored from that time.

During the evening of 6 February, there was a further interruption to Maui gas supply. Contact responded by reducing generation at its gas-fired stations. However, gas supply from Maui was restored relatively quickly, and Contact’s thermal plant resumed normal operation later that evening.

While these outages had an adverse financial impact on Contact, based on information at this point, they are not considered to have been material in the context of the company’s annual earnings.

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