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500MW coal fired power plant study welcome

Tuesday, April 6th, 2004

500MW coal fired power plant study welcome

Genesis Power's announcement on its feasibility planning for a 500MW coal fired electricity generation plant brings commonsense back to the energy debate, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

"Genesis announcement today is welcome for two main reasons," said Alasdair Thompson, EMA's chief executive.

"One, it means that while their owners may engage in flights of fancy over our energy future, our power generators have not lost the plot.

"For investment to take place in growing our standards of living we'll need to call on all our available fuel supplies and coal is by far the most prolific of these.

"Second, in spite of Government's desire to burden our economy with the carbon tax costs of Kyoto, coal may still represent the best way forward to meet our ambitions for growing the economy.

"New Zealand has sufficient coal to last 1000 years.

"Modern emissions scrubbing technology can make coal no more polluting than gas fired plants; we would make use of this technology more effectively than countries where we might otherwise export the coal; and gas reserves are running down.

"Should Genesis be considering use of the old coal fired Meremere site it would clean up a visual pollutant at the same time as being well placed to meet Auckland's electricity needs."

ENDS

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