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Canterbury needs to use gas as alternative

Media Release
For immediate Release: 29 March 2004

Canterbury needs to use gas as alternative to electricity

Canterbury needs to seriously consider alternative energy options following Transpower’s warning yesterday that the region could run out of electricity as soon as the 2005 winter.

“This capacity issue, combined with the predicted surge of power prices, means Christchurch needs to examine some alternative energy sources to avoid a crisis. Gas is a viable, energy efficient option’ says Owen Poole, General Manager, Rockgas Ltd. ‘Gas is good for Christchurch on a number of levels and this urgent electricity supply issue is certainly another one.”

Transpower is working on an upgrade of the transmission line into Christchurch to increase electricity transmission capacity, and has warned that this will not be completed for another six years.

Its investigations show that current capacity needs to be doubled on the most heavily loaded parts of the network. This upgrade is so urgent that Transpower has confirmed that power supply to Christchurch and Canterbury would be at risk from next year if a major transmission circuit was lost.

Rockgas already has a significant market share of the residential home and hot water heating market in Christchurch, providing gas through portable cylinders. It has a sophisticated reticulated system in the CBD for commercial customers, which it is expanding this year.

“If enough residential and commercial customers switched to gas, the load on the grid would be reduced and Christchurch might not be facing a blackout in the next few years”.

“What’s more, gas is good for Christchurch, because it is environmentally friendly. We are working with Environment Canterbury and we see gas as the perfect replacement for an open fire because you can still have all the ambience and warmth of a fire without the hassle associated with air pollution” says Mr Poole.


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