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Meridian earns $9m from White Hill carbon credits

Friday 20 October 2006

Meridian earns $9m from White Hill carbon credits

State-owned power generator Meridian Energy has sold carbon credits allocated to its White Hill Wind farm to a Swiss organisation for more than $9 million.

Meridian was awarded the carbon credits by the Government in the second Projects to Reduce Emissions tender round for the emission reductions to be achieved by Project White Hill.

It has now sold the units to the Swiss Climate Cent Foundation under a contract worth more than NZ$9 million over 6 years.

Chief executive Keith Turner says the sale of the carbon credits has been conducted under the auspices of the Kyoto Protocol's Joint Implementation mechanism whereby countries can purchase emission reduction credits from each other to assist to offset their own emissions and to keep their total emissions within their agreed limits.

³The Projects to Reduce Emissions mechanism is an excellent government initiative for providing incentives for investment in new zero emission renewable energy projects that would not otherwise be undertaken.

³The mechanism is currently under review, and Meridian hopes it will be continued.²

Joint Implementation Projects are required to be additional ­ in other words, they would not go ahead without the revenue stream from the emission reduction units.

Dr Turner says the anticipated sale of the carbon credits was critical in Meridian's decision to commence construction of Project White Hill in March this year.

Project White Hill is a 58MW Wind Farm now being constructed by Meridian Energy near Mossburn, in Southland.

The Climate Cent Foundation, founded by four major Swiss business associations, has a carbon credit procurement agreement with the Swiss Government.

The Foundation imposes a small levy on every litre of gasoline and diesel and under agreement with the Government spends it on emission reduction initiatives and purchase of emission reduction credits. These credits are surrendered to the Swiss Government for use in Switzerland's compliance with the Kyoto Protocol.

Meridian was assisted in the negotiation with Climate Cent Foundation by Carbon Market Solutions Ltd.

ENDS

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