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Minister Applauds Hole-Through Of Manapouri Tunnel

The Minister for State Owned Enterprises Mark Burton has described the second tailrace tunnel at Lake Manapouri in Fiordland as "the first significant New Zealand engineering feat of the 21st Century."

The 9.8 kilometre long tunnel to Deep Cove was holed-through at 2.00pm today.

The second tunnel will increase the output of the Meridian Energy-owned Manapouri Power Station by 120MW – enough to meet the electricity needs of a city the size of Dunedin.

"Although designed to produce up to 700MW, Manapouri Power Station has never been able to produce anywhere near that level.

"The second tunnel has been constructed to take advantage of this unused capacity.

"Fiordland is a unique and pristine environment and extensive measures have been taken throughout this project to ensure the environmental balance is not altered.

"The tunnelling project has faced delays, but the board and management of Meridian Energy have acted prudently to maximise the benefit of the project for the company and for the shareholders – the public of New Zealand," Mark Burton said.

Ends

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