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Contact On Wairakei Resource Consent Decision

15 October 2004

Wairakei Resource Consent Decision – Comment From Contact Energy

Contact Energy Ltd said today that it has received the decision on its Wairakei resource consent applications and the conditions attached to the consent authorisation, but is yet to receive formal delivery of the complete decision.

The consents relate to the take and discharge of geothermal fluid to generate electricity at Contact’s Wairakei and Poihipi Geothermal Power Stations near Taupo.

“We are naturally pleased to have reached this important stage of what has been a very long process,” Contact’s General Manager, Operations, David Thomas said. The consent process commenced in 1999.

Contact welcomed the fact that all the consents, with one minor exception, appear to have been granted for the full term requested by the company in its application to 30 June 2026.

Wairakei and Poihipi combined contribute approximately two thirds of the electricity generated from geothermal sources in New Zealand. Together, they are a key component of the national electricity system providing over four percent of New Zealand’s electricity supply.

Mr Thomas said that based on a preliminary review of the material received, Contact was generally pleased with the outcome and satisfied that a robust process has been undertaken by the Commissioners and Environment Waikato.

“Once we have formally received the full decision it will take some days to consider it in detail and for the company to decide whether there are elements on which it may wish to appeal.

“That analysis will be required before we can make further comment,” Mr Thomas said.

The Commissioners have extended the deadline for lodging appeals to 30 working days to give all parties adequate time to consider the decision.


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