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Proposed TrustPower Generation Enhancements

TrustPower - Media Statement 1.00pm 2 April 2004

Proposed TrustPower Generation Enhancements in Otago and Taranaki

Hydro generation enhancements proposed by TrustPower for existing schemes in Taranaki and Otago have been awarded carbon credits by the New Zealand Government.

Carbon credits are awarded to electricity generation schemes that provide new capacity, displace greenhouse gas emissions, and would not normally be commercially viable. TrustPower's enhancement projects in Otago and Taranaki have only become viable as a result of carbon credits. Should the projects incur unexpected costs or constraints which make them less than marginal they may not proceed.

TrustPower's proposed enhancements will deliver approximately 38.5 GWh of electricity per year, the equivalent of supplying 4,500 homes, and will displace 23,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The Taranaki proposal involves three enhancements associated with the Motukawa and Mangorei hydro schemes. These include tunnel relining and the removal of concrete constrictions at the Waiwhakaiho River intake, the construction of a weir and generator in the Motukawa Race, and the construction of a pump in the Mangaotea Stream to transfer water to the existing Motukawa hydro scheme. The enhancements will deliver 3.5 GWh per year.

The larger proposed enhancement, which involves three projects associated with the Waipori hydro scheme in Otago, will deliver 35 GWh. These three projects are the construction of two small power stations to generate off an existing catchment, the construction of a weir and pump in the Waitahuna River to transfer water from there to the Waipori hydro scheme, and the construction of a weir and pump in the Bungtown stream to pump water into the Waitahuna River and in turn to the Waipori hydro scheme.

TrustPower had initial discussions with landowners and councils during January and February, and gained access agreements which have allowed the commissioning of environmental reports (cultural, ecological, archaeological, traffic, noise, flooding, etc, etc). These reports, approximately half of which have now been received, will provide the basis for an environmentally acceptable design. Following completion of the design work, drawing and design proposals will be presented to landowners, stakeholders and councils. Resource consent applications are expected to be filed by the end of May 2004.

As part of the Waipori enhancements, TrustPower and the Dunedin City Council have proposed that, should a dam be built to regulate the flow of water to the two smaller power stations then, during draught conditions, the dam could possibly supplement existing water supplies to Dunedin City.

Generating electricity from renewable sources of energy, such as wind and water, reduces emissions by removing the need to generate more electricity using fossil fuels such as coal or gas.

TrustPower Chief Executive, Keith Tempest said his company was committed to the concept of sustainability.

"TrustPower has a portfolio of 34 hydro generation units, and the largest windfarm in Australasia, which is currently undergoing expansion. In addition, we are investigating a number of other sustainable generation projects in both the North and South Island, which have the potential to further mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. We strongly believe that the future for New Zealand lies in efficient sustainable generation built close to where the power is consumed."

ENDS

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