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Kupe gas – billion dollar vote of confidence

29 June 2006

Kupe gas project – a billion dollar vote of confidence

The decision of the Kupe gas field partners to proceed with the near billion dollar development of the offshore field is a vital step in securing our energy future, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

The partners announced today the decision to proceed with the $950 million development of the field. Gas will flow from 2009 and meet 15 per cent of New Zealand's annual demand. The project provides a long term gas supply for Genesis Energy's new e3P plant at Huntly.

"This is an important signal that we are meeting our energy challenges. In particular, it will help deal with the uncertainty caused by the decline in supply from the Maui gas field.

"The project will be a major boost to the south Taranaki economy providing engineering and construction jobs.

"It's also a strong vote of confidence in the New Zealand economy and another sign that the current slowdown will be shortlived.

"These are complex investment decisions. Today's announcement flies in the face of those who say this country is not a good place to do business. It reminds us that New Zealand continues to score highly on international comparisons of the ease of doing business.

"I congratulate the partners and the other parties involved in ensuring this development can proceed," Dr Cullen concluded.

ENDS

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