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Solid Energy Selects Oracle E-Business Suite


***Application integration and asset management tools key to coal producer's expansion

AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Oracle New Zealand, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL), the world's largest enterprise software company, today announced that coal producer Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd has implemented Oracle E-Business Suite to reinvigorate its management information systems and improve asset management.

Solid Energy, New Zealand's leading coal producer and distributor, is adopting Oracle Financials, Oracle Enterprise Asset Management, Oracle Order Management, Oracle Purchasing, Oracle Internet Procurement, Oracle Balanced Scorecard, Oracle Projects, Oracle Financial Analyser and Oracle9i Application Server across its operations in the Waikato, the West Coast and Southland.

Chief Financial Officer, Warren Maslin said the investment in Oracle Enterprise Asset Management is expected to yield rich dividends, enabling the capital-intensive enterprise to identify the true lifecycle cost of assets. "Better maintenance management and costing tools will lead to fewer unexpected breakdowns and therefore greater availability and productivity of equipment, which translates into better bottom-line results," he said.

Mr. Maslin added that the new Oracle tools give Solid Energy the functionality needed to make better decisions about overhaul and replacement of assets, preventative maintenance routines and rationalisation of spare parts and rotables. "By ensuring we have accurate records of maintenance and expenditure on assets, we can determine the condition of assets at any given time and also identify poorly designed plant, or poor performing plant, to improve future procurement and maintenance decisions ," he said.

Solid Energy first deployed Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software in 1995 using Oracle Financials and standalone packages for asset maintenance and purchasing. However, the fragmented ERP environment could no longer cope with Solid Energy's needs as the core business returned to a strong growth strategy based on increased exports, sound longer term planning, and strategies to overcome physical plant and distribution network limitations.

"In the past senior managers had to make decisions based on monthly reports that did not reflect current performance," said Mr. Maslin. "Now they can have operational data in real time or with just one day delay. Project managers also have a tool to help financial management of large projects."

The integration of Solid Energy's business applications is considered key to the company's growth strategy and Mr Maslin said that the company selected Oracle for its robust, integrated solution that could accommodate rapid business growth. "Oracle was the only vendor that has an integrated solution for enterprise information systems reporting," said Mr. Maslin. "It has the strongest management information capabilities, with comprehensive enterprise information systems, supported by ad hoc query tools for drilling down to detail."

The implementation of the Oracle E-Business Suite has been carried out in a phased approach with the upgrade to Oracle Financials11i going live last October and additional modules rolled out progressively over the following five months.

Louise Featherstone, Oracle New Zealand's E-Business Suite Implementation Manager, said that more New Zealand businesses, like Solid Energy, are looking to consolidate business applications in order to manage growth. "The most significant benefits will come from the integrated solution," she said. "Applications with an enterprise-wide footprint will pull all the information together - for stronger internal controls and governance - from management reporting and portal tools that make this information easily visible to all managers, not just the accountants."

+++ About Solid Energy Solid Energy is New Zealand's leading producer and distributor of high quality coal for export and for New Zealand markets, employing 490 staff and 240 external contractors at underground and opencast mines on the West Coast, in Southland and the at Huntly in the Waikato. To meet New Zealand and export demand, Solid Energy needs to open new mines and double production over the next five years.

+++ About Oracle Oracle is the world's largest enterprise software company. For more information about Oracle, visit our Web site at

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+++ Trademarks Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

+++ For more information please contact:

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