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Genesis Decision To Proceed With Huntly E3p

12 August 2004

Genesis Decision To Proceed With Huntly E3p

“The decision by Genesis Energy to proceed with the development of e3p will help to meet the strong growth in electricity demand that New Zealand can expect over the next few years,” said Mr Stephen Barrett, Contact Energy’s Chief Executive.

“In particular, this decision underlines the important role that thermal fuels will continue to play in ensuring security of electricity supply into the future.

“However, e3p is far from a whole answer to New Zealand’s looming electricity supply gap and there are troubling aspects to some of the arrangements announced today,” said Mr Barrett.

“Further substantial investment in new generation capacity will be vital in the near future if New Zealand is to avoid the electricity supply gap expected to emerge by the end of the decade, even after e3p is built. Equally important will be the identification or discovery of significant new gas resources.”

“Contact would be most concerned if the taxpayer-backed guarantee were to blunt industry efforts to secure new gas sources.”

“The rationale for the guarantee is difficult to assess because few details have been disclosed, and it has been developed without inviting alternative proposals,” said Mr Barrett.

“While we share the Government’s desire to see new generation built, investors in the sector will only commit the billions required for new investment if the policy framework is clear and stable.”

“We note the Government statement that it will provide further information on the arrangement, and we look forward to being able to assess the impact of the arrangement,” said Mr Barrett.

Mr Barrett stressed that Contact expected a mix of new renewable and thermal generation projects to be developed, to provide the right balance between security, cost and environmental issues.

“Contact itself has a number of projects under intensive study at this time,” said Mr Barrett.

ENDS

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