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Transpower to seek positive outcome for NZ

27 April 2006

Transpower to seek positive outcome for NZ

Transpower will continue to work towards a positive final outcome in July, following today’s draft decision by the Electricity Commission to not approve the proposed upper North Island 400 kV transmission line investment.

Transpower Chief Executive Dr Ralph Craven says the proposed 400 kV line from Whakamaru to Otahuhu provides a sensible, economic, reliable and secure solution to Auckland and Northland’s future electricity needs.

“As the long term owner and operator of the electricity grid, Transpower has carefully assessed the risks to security of supply for the upper North Island. We’ve followed international best practice and been mindful of the need to provide the right environment for on-going business investment decisions in New Zealand, by providing for a robust and reliable future electricity supply.

“It is Transpower’s job to build and operate an electricity grid that provides a platform for a long term sustainable future for New Zealand. As the regulator, the Electricity Commission must examine the economics of our proposals.

“The Electricity Commission has essentially agreed with Transpower that a new transmission line needs to be built from Whakamaru to Otahuhu. Transpower is in the process of obtaining a route for that line. The remaining differences of view appear to be centered on reliability and risk and when a new line should prudently be in place.

“Transpower believes reliability is critical to the integrity of the network and would not want to see it compromised through the lack of a timely investment.”

Dr Craven says Transpower cannot make any more detailed comment on the Electricity Commission’s reasons for reaching a draft no decision, because it has not had a chance to evaluate the documents released today.

“Transpower will use the consultation period to respond in detail to the Electricity Commission and we remain hopeful of getting final approval in July. Transpower’s principle objective is to ensure the country has a reliable supply of electricity, now and in the future,” Dr Craven said.


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