Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Meridian Reiterates Project Aqua’s Dry Year Worth

Media Release
For immediate release: Monday 15 December 2003

Meridian Energy Reiterates Project Aqua’s Dry Year Worth

Meridian Energy is reassuring New Zealanders about the value Project Aqua would have to New Zealand in a dry year.

This follows what Meridian Energy spokesperson Alan Seay describes as some misunderstanding about how Project Aqua would work during a dry year.

“The fact is that the Project Aqua scheme would add 30% more generation capacity to the Waitaki River – even in a dry year,” says Alan Seay.

In a normal year, Project Aqua would generate 3000 GWh – that is enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of about 375,000 households. Even in a dry year (a 1-in-20 year event), it would generate enough electricity to supply 250,000 homes.

The single Kaplan turbines proposed for six Project Aqua power stations would have variable-pitch blades. That means the power stations would be able to operate over a wide range of canal flow conditions. Meridian Energy is proposing the use of these single Kaplan turbines because they are the most efficient for the hydraulic conditions that would exist in the Project Aqua canal.

“Project Aqua would produce electricity every year, whether it is wet or dry,” says Alan Seay.

The financial impact of a dry year

Despite some suggestions that Meridian Energy, which is a state-owned enterprise, somehow benefits from a dry year, the opposite is actually true.

“In a dry year, the spot prices soar and as we have to purchase power from that market to satisfy our customer contracts, this has a serious impact on Meridian’s financial performance,” says Alan Seay.

In 2000-2001, Meridian Energy’s net profit was $125.1 million. In 2001-2002, that fell to $84 million due to the dry year costs. In the latest financial year, Meridian Energy’s profit was $109.3 million, but $83 million of that was made in the first six months before the low inflows and thermal fuel shortages of March and April sent spot prices soaring.

“As a state-owned enterprise one of our key responsibilities is to operate as a successful business, just as we would if we were in the private sector. Our profits go back to our owners – the Government, and are ultimately owned by all New Zealanders. In the last three years we have paid $289 million to the Government in dividends alone, and that doesn’t include the $176 million Meridian Energy paid in taxes.”

As Project Aqua would increase the company’s generation capacity in both a dry and normal year, it would not only improve the security of electricity supply but also benefit our owners – the Government and people of New Zealand,” concludes Alan Seay.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Tornado Aftermath: More Storms Forecast For New Plymouth

Up to 30 homes were damaged Monday night when a tornado roared through a New Plymouth suburb last night , cutting power lines, tearing off roofs, and toppling trees. More>>

ALSO:

Government Investment Rejig: Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures Launched

Growing New Zealand’s food and fibre sectors sustainably and supporting a thriving economy are the hallmarks of a new investment programme announced today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. More>>

Dump Levy Options: Waste Work Programme Announced

Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage has announced a programme of work to take action on New Zealand’s long-neglected waste problems. More>>

ALSO:

Real Estate: Foreign Buyers Ban Passes Third Reading

The Bill to put in place the Government’s policy of banning overseas buyers of existing homes has passed its third and final reading in the House. More>>

ALSO:

Nine Merger: Fairfax Slashes Value Of NZ Business

Fairfax Media Group more than halved the value of its Kiwi assets, attaching just A$40 million to mastheads that were once the core of a billion dollar investment. More>>

Collecting Scalpers: Commerce Commission To Sue Viagogo

The Commission will claim that Viagogo made false or misleading representations: • that it was an “official” seller, when it was not • that tickets were limited or about to sell out • that consumers were “guaranteed” to receive valid tickets for their event • about the price of tickets... More>>

ALSO: