Fuel supply issues see plants on hold

New Zealand State Owned Enterprise (SOE) Genesis Energy has put plans for two 400 MW coal-fired power stations at its 1,000 MW Huntly site in the North

Island on hold due to concerns over the availability of coal. The company had planned to commission the first plant by 2010 and the second by 2012 but estimates from state-owned coal supplier Solid Energy suggested that there were economically recoverable reserves of around 50 million tonnes left in the Waikato region in the North Island, about half that required for a certain future for the plants.

However, fellow SOE Mighty River Power intends to press ahead with its coal-fired Marsden B station, south of Whangarei. Mighty River chief executive officer Doug Heffernan said Marsden B’s proximity to Port Whangarei meant it was ideally positioned to take advantage of imported coals and was a low risk in terms of supply.