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Update on Government’s Tiwai Point offer

Hon Tony Ryall

Minister for State Owned Enterprises


2 April 2013 Media Statement

Update on Government’s Tiwai Point offer

State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall notes that Rio Tinto has declined the Government’s offer to help bridge a negotiations gap between Meridian Energy and Rio Tinto subsidiary Pacific Aluminium.

Meridian Energy and Pacific Aluminium have been re-negotiating an electricity contract for Tiwai Point aluminium smelter for nine months.

“The positions of Meridian and Pacific Aluminium are reasonably close in terms of the short term electricity price, but they remain well apart in the longer term,” Mr Ryall says.

“Last week the Government was in contact with Pacific Aluminium’s international parent company Rio Tinto to discuss helping to bridge the gap in the companies’ positions over the short term, if this could be of assistance in concluding an agreement.

“But over the weekend the multi-national mining corporation Rio Tinto said it appreciated the Government’s intentions but was unable to accept the offer.

“Pacific Aluminium and Meridian have both indicated a willingness to continue discussions.

Mr Ryall says the government will not be a party in the commercial negotiations between Meridian and Pacific Aluminium.

“The Government put its best offer of assistance forward because New Zealanders would expect us to do that. But we are not interested in providing a long term subsidy. “In the meantime, we understand Meridian’s existing contract with Pacific Aluminium remains in place at least until 1 January 2016 with significant financial and other obligations beyond that.”

“As we’ve said previously, all relevant information will be reflected in the Mighty River Power offer document which is currently being finalised.”


ENDS


Important notice


The Crown is considering offering shares to the public in Mighty River Power Limited (“Mighty River Power”). No money is currently being sought and no applications for shares will be accepted or money received until after an investment statement containing information about the offer of shares is available (the "Share Offer Document").


The contents of this press release are not permitted to be made available to persons in any country other than New Zealand. Mighty River Power's shares have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "United States Securities Act") or the securities laws of any state of the United States and may not be offered or sold in the United States unless the shares are registered under the United States Securities Act, or an exemption from the registration requirements of the United States Securities Act and applicable United States state securities laws is available.

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