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Transpower response to price control paper

Transpower response to Commerce Commission paper on its intention to declare price control – 31 Jan 2006

Transpower, the owner and operator of the national electricity grid, will prepare a submission giving the company’s detailed response to a Commerce Commission report setting out its intention to declare price control of Transpower.

Transpower Chief Executive Dr Ralph Craven says the 70-page Commerce Commission report issued this afternoon will take some time to digest and analyse and it would be inappropriate to make any immediate comments on the details of the report.

However, Dr Craven says Transpower remains of the view that the prices it charges its 46 customers (35 electricity companies and 11 large industrial users) are justifiable.

“In recent years New Zealand has enjoyed strong economic growth which has resulted in a significant increase in electricity demand. Transpower has needed to implement a series of crucial short-term investments to extract as much capacity as possible from the existing transmission system, to meet this demand. We are also preparing to deliver a major investment programme that will provide ongoing security of supply into the future.

“These major investments are being fully scrutinised by the Electricity Commission and Transpower will not proceed with them unless they are approved.“Transpower is regulated by both the Commerce Commission and the Electricity Commission and is also subject to other regulations, laws and directives. Transpower hopes the outcome of the current process will be some much needed clarity of this regulatory regime. Our fundamental concern is to avoid any outcomes that may risk our ability to meet the expectations of New Zealanders that they will continue to enjoy a secure, reliable and efficient supply of electricity.

“Transpower is pleased that the Commerce Commission has extended the close-off date for submissions from 15 February to 27 February. However, it will still be extremely challenging to prepare a comprehensive response on such a complex and vital issue in the timeframe allowed,” Dr Craven said.

NB: Transpower will not be making any further comment in response to today’s Commerce Commission release.

ENDS

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