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Electricity Generation Lower in March Quarter

Electricity Generation Lower in March Quarter

Seasonally adjusted electricity generation decreased 3.7 percent in the March 2003 quarter compared with the December 2002 quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Total electricity generation in the March 2003 quarter, however, reached 8,488 gigawatt hours, 1.7 percent higher than in the March 2002 quarter – the highest level recorded for a March quarter.

In the March 2003 quarter, hydro generation was 5,519 gigawatt hours, 2.2 percent lower than in the March 2002 quarter. Thermal generation of 2,968 gigawatt hours was 9.7 percent higher in the March 2003 quarter than in the March 2002 quarter, a period in which electricity generation using thermal energy reached the highest level recorded in a March quarter.

Hydro generation supplied 65 percent of the electricity generated in the March 2003 quarter, compared with 68 percent in the March 2002 quarter. Over the past 10 years, the March quarterly average contribution of hydro generation to the total electricity generated has been 72 percent. In the last five years, however, the contribution of hydro generation in each March quarter has been below the 70 percent level.

Gas production was 9.5 percent lower in the March 2003 quarter compared with the March 2002 quarter. Gas is a leading source of thermal energy for electricity generation. Gas production was 240,000 terajoules in the year ended March 2003, down 5.3 percent when compared with the year ended March 2002. The highest level of gas produced in a March year was achieved in the year ended March 2002.

Production of crude petroleum was 1.1 million tonnes in the year ended March 2003, a rise of 1.0 percent compared with the year ended March 2002. The volume of crude petroleum produced was 39.9 percent lower than in the year ended March 1994, when production peaked at 1.9 million tonnes.

There was an increase of 1.6 percent in the production of refined petrol in the year ended March 2003 compared with the year ended March 2002, while production of diesel increased by 6.8 percent in the same period. Since the year ended March 1995 the volume of diesel produced in New Zealand has exceeded the volume of petrol produced.

In the March 2003 quarter, deliveries of petrol (613,000 tonnes) and diesel (572,000 tonnes) to resellers and direct to industry were 7.3 percent and 8.6 percent higher respectively than in the March 2002 quarter.

The total volume of petrol delivered in the year ended March 2003 was 2.4 million tonnes, 9.6 percent higher than in the year ended March 2002. Deliveries of regular petrol (91 octane or less) totalled 1.9 million tonnes, an increase of 9.8 percent compared with the year ended March 2002.

Regular petrol accounted for 78 percent of the total volume of petrol delivered.

Deliveries of diesel in the March 2003 year amounted to 2.2 million tonnes, 11.1 percent higher than in the March 2002 year.


Brian Pink
Government Statistician
END


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