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Will Minister confirm power plant breakdown?

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party Energy Spokesman

5 June 2008

Will Minister confirm power plant breakdown?

Industry sources have told National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee that the Otahuhu B power station is being shut down for at least four days while repairs are carried out on a boiler tube.

“With the 400 MW Otahuhu B plant offline, more pressure will go on our already stretched southern hydro lakes. This should be the cue for Energy Minister David Parker to announce the crisis measures he’s been trying so hard to avoid.”

Mr Brownlee says with the second largest thermal plant in the country out of action, the southern hydro lakes will be using water that would otherwise be held in reserve for winter.

“The situation is remarkably bad. Just to keep the lights on, New Zealanders are relying on a broken Cook Strait cable, an asbestos riddled mothballed plant in New Plymouth, and a diesel guzzling emergency generator at Whirinaki.

“The network was already delicately balanced before the Otahuhu outage. This breakdown should be the catalyst that gets the Government out of denial and into crisis management.

“We’ve got to this point right under the noses of the $230 million Electricity Commission that Labour set up to avoid these sorts of crises.

“The longer David Parker puts off announcing an emergency savings campaign, the greater the risk of more serious problems down the track.

“The failure of Otahuhu B means he no longer has much choice.”


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