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Contact Energy Adds Further Strength To Board

7 October 2003


Contact Energy Adds Further Strength To Board Of Directors

Contact Energy Ltd is adding further strength to its board with the appointment of two leading energy industry executives as new directors, the company’s chairman, Mr Phil Pryke, announced today.

The two appointees are Dr Patrick Strange, a long-standing energy industry executive and co-ordinator of the 2003 Winter Power Taskforce, and Mr Tom McDaniel, the chairman and chief executive of Contact’s majority shareholder, Edison Mission Energy (EME).

“Contact Energy has grown strongly in the past two to three years, to become New Zealand’s largest integrated energy company.

The strategic oversight for that growth has rested with the current board of six directors, a small group by New Zealand corporate standards, especially for a company of Contact’s size with significant challenges to meet as New Zealand seeks secure energy sources over the next few years,” Mr Pryke said.

“The board has therefore determined that it will appoint two additional directors as allowed by Contact’s Constitution. The Board is doing so in a balanced way, appointing a new director from New Zealand and a new director affiliated with EME. Both directors will take up their duties immediately, but will also offer themselves for re-election to the annual meeting of shareholders scheduled for February 2004”.

Mr Pryke said that the Board has decided to appoint these individuals now because it felt they could make valuable contributions on a number of pressing issues affecting Contact’s development, including the quest for new fuel sources and responding to the changing regulatory environment.

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Mr Pryke said Dr Strange needed no introduction to most New Zealanders, having successfully steered the country through the electricity crisis that loomed in early winter 2003.

“We are delighted that Dr Strange has accepted this appointment. He brings a rare combination of management experience, energy industry knowledge - covering both upstream and gas and other fuel issues and network company issues – and regulatory expertise.

“Dr Strange has a clearly established standing in a national leadership role this winter with strong credibility among policy makers at both official and Ministerial level.”

As well as the Winter Power Taskforce role, Dr Strange was formerly chief executive of the Auckland network company, Vector, and prior to that was an executive with Fletcher Challenge Energy, working in the gas and electricity sectors.

Mr McDaniel is chairman, chief executive officer and president of EME, the global arm of Edison International. With assets of more than $US10 billion, EME specialises in the development, acquisition, construction, management and operation of global power production facilities, and is Contact’s majority shareholder.

Mr McDaniel became CEO and president on August 1, 2002 and was elected chairman on January 1, 2003.

“Tom McDaniel is a director of high international calibre and will be a major asset to the Contact board,” Mr Pryke said.


ENDS

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