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Electricity generation down from last year's high

5 December 2007

Electricity generation down from last year's high

Electricity generation in both the quarter and year ended September 2007 was less than the high levels reached in the same periods of 2006, Statistics New Zealand said today. The September quarter generally has the highest level of electricity generation in the annual cycle.

A 7.1 percent decrease in hydro and wind generation in the September 2007 quarter was the main contributor to the fall in total electricity compared with the September 2006 quarter. While thermal generation fell less than 1 percent, electricity generated by two of the main thermal sources saw significant opposing movements – gas generation rose 36.7 percent and coal generation fell 65.8 percent. In June 2007, a new gas turbine was commissioned at the Huntly plant which reduced its reliance on coal-fired generation.

Crude petroleum production and gas production increased 144.4 percent and 19.9 percent respectively in the latest quarter compared with the September 2006 quarter. Both have increased throughout 2007 following the Pohokura field beginning production in late 2006 and more recently, the start of production at the Tui field.

This is the last quarterly New Zealand Energy Statistics information release that Statistics NZ will publish.

The Ministry of Economic Development (MED) will take over the dissemination of energy statistics and they will publish information relating to the December 2007 quarter on 18 March 2008. Quarterly energy information will be published on the MED website at: www.med.govt.nz/energy/nzeq/ in a similar product to the Statistics NZ Hot Off The Press and will include information relating to oil, gas, coal, and electricity.

Geoff Bascand

Government Statistician

5 December 2007

ENDS

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