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Plenty Of Interest In Aqua Work

Media Release
For immediate distribution: Thursday 18 March, 2004

PLENTY OF INTEREST IN AQUA WORK

Suppliers and contractors have been quick to register their interest in supplying goods and services for Meridian Energy's Project Aqua.

More than 250 firms from throughout New Zealand and some from overseas had responded to the Registrations of Interest (ROI) call made by the designer and constructor alliance formed to deliver the proposed hydro generation scheme, said Meridian Energy spokesperson Alan Seay.

The six member alliance, which has been named Waihanga, consists of companies Meridian Energy, PB Power (NZ), Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner, McConnell Dowell, Bechtel International, and Black & Veatch (International).

"Waihanga's current focus is to produce detailed designs and cost estimates for the proposed Project Aqua scheme," said Alan Seay. "It is using the registrations of interest to build a supplier / contractor database to assist this process and identify potential sources for goods and services should Meridian decide to proceed with the project."

Project Aqua is a proposed canal-based hydro-electric scheme in the Waitaki Valley near Oamaru. It would generate enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of about 375,000 households in an average rainfall year and 250,000 households in a very dry year such as occurred in 1992 (a 1 in 20 year event).

Project Aqua must be commercially viable and environmentally sustainable to proceed. It must cost less than other forms of generation (between 4.5c and 5c per kilowatt-hour). A major potential benefit of Project Aqua is that it could enable irrigation in the Waitaki district

Registration of interest forms can be sourced from:

- www.projectaqua.co.nz - 0800 AQUA INFO (0800 278 246) - aqua@meridianenergy.co.nz - Project Aqua Office and Information Centre, 12 Bledisloe Street, Kurow.

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