Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Govt Encouraged Solid Energy Expansion

26 February 2013

Govt Encouraged Solid Energy’s Expansion But Never Required A Business Case

The National Government encouraged Solid Energy expansion plans but never required it to submit a business case for its ambitious but ultimately futile $2 billion lignite developments, the Green Party said today.

Information released under the Official Information Act confirms that Solid Energy never provided a business case for the proposed multi-billion dollar lignite expansion to Treasury or the shareholding ministers.

“The National Government failed to provide adequate oversight of the ambitious expansion plans of the state’s coal miner,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“The shareholding ministers and Treasury’s Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit are responsible for providing this oversight but they manifestly failed.

“But more than that, John Key was actively encouraging the expansion of Solid Energy’s lignite plans.”

John Key said to an Invercargill audience on 3 June, 2011 that, ‘At the moment companies like Solid Energy are growth companies and we want them to expand in areas like lignite conversion’.

“It is desperate stuff to now blame Solid Energy’s failings on a speech from Trevor Mallard in 2007,” said Dr Norman.

“Like South Canterbury Finance before it, the National Government’s complacency has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

“National is failing at the basics of good economic management and oversight.”

Dr Norman also questioned the Government’s attempt to paint Solid Energy’s demise as a failure of its clean energy investments.

“The majority of Solid Energy’s asset write-downs (or impairments) were dominated by its investments in underground mines, as reported by Solid Energy’s CEO when presenting the 2012 Annual Report,” said Dr Norman.

“The closure of the Huntly and Spring Creek mines as a result of falling coal prices and the high New Zealand dollar have had a disproportionately bigger negative impact on Solid Energy’s bottom line than its investments in clean energy.

“In fact, the National Government’s decision to end the Biodiesel Grant then remove minimum biofuel requirements destroyed the business case for Solid Energy’s prior investment in biodiesel.”

Link to Treasury’s Official Information Act response:

http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/treasury_oia_on_lignite_oversight_0.jpg

Link to John Key’s reported statements on Solid Energy’s expansion plans:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5094448/PM-backs-mining-souths-lignite



ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Midwives On Pay Equity: Historic Bill Of Rights Case For High Court

“We have been left with no choice.” That from Karen Guilliland, the Chief Executive of the New Zealand College of Midwives, as the organisation prepares to file a pay parity discrimination case on the basis of gender under the NZ Bill of Rights Act in the High Court. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Children’s Commission Report On CYF

Accusing the overworked and underfunded staff at Child, Youth and Family of a “dump and run culture of neglect” is the kind of luxury that a Children’s Commissioner can afford to indulge in from his own comfy perch in the bureaucracy. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Eden Prison: Serco Inquiry Extended

A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. More>>

ALSO:

Health And Safety: Late Addition Of National Security Provisions A Concern

The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its significant concerns at the last-minute addition to the Health and Safety Reform Bill of provisions for a closed material procedure for court proceedings where national security is involved. More>>

ALSO:

Rugby And Beer: World Cup Alcohol Bill Passes

ACT MP David Seymour’s Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Extended licensing hours during Rugby World Cup) Bill completed its third reading by 99 to 21... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news