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Genesis Energy winds back carbon emissions

Genesis Energy winds back carbon emissions

Genesis Energy has today formally taken over the Huntly e3p, the country’s newest and largest base-load power station brought into service in the past decade.

The combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) will not only add much needed extra generation capacity to the stretched market, but will enable Genesis Energy to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 1.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Genesis Energy Chief Executive Murray Jackson said the take over of the plant from lead contractor Mitsubishi Corporation followed a rigorous four-month-long commissioning programme which has proved the machine’s reliability and capability to run at 400MW. At the peak of construction the gas turbine project employed more than 600 contractors’ staff. The total cost of the project was $520 million.

“The planning and hard work over the past few years to bring the Huntly project to completion is now paying off as New Zealand’s electricity demand exceeds 6900MW in the current cold wet weather we are experiencing.

“Because the new CCGT at Huntly is a high efficiency machine and because natural gas emits less than half the carbon dioxide of coal-fired generation, we will be able to substantially reduce our total carbon dioxide emissions from our generation activities.

“We believe natural gas generation will enable a transition to lower carbon dioxide emissions and should be central to all emission reduction policies. It produces only 40% of the greenhouse emissions of coal-fired power generation and is the preferred source of new base load generation in most countries across the world.

With future investments in both renewable energy projects including wind, solar and hydro power, and high efficiency gas fired generation, further significant reductions in the carbon dioxide emissions from Genesis Energy’s assets will follow in future years” said Mr Jackson.

Genesis Energy is constructing a 2MW increment to its Tongariro hydro station, holds resource consents for a 20MW wind farm at Awhitu, is actively pursuing a further 400MW of wind energy, and is seeking resource consents for a proposed gas fired power station in Helensville.

Gas supplies for the new Huntly CCGT are currently sourced from Maui and Pohokura. The new $950 million Kupe oil and gas field which is 31% owned by Genesis Energy will also start delivering gas to Huntly from mid 2009.

Mr Jackson said the introduction of e3p into the electricity market as a base load generator will greatly increase security of supply of the New Zealand power system, as increased demand has been drawing down hydro reserves at an increasing rate over the last eight years.

ENDS

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