Powerco ties up Tassie

New Zealand energy network company Powerco continues to cement its position in the Tasmanian gas sector, signing up more commercial customers.

The New Plymouth-headquartered company has announced it is to distribute natural gas to a further four firms in Tasmania.

Dairy manufacturer Bonlac Foods Ltd has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Powerco; vegetable processor Simplot is finalising arrangements with Powerco to convert its Quioba site to gas; malt manufacturer Joe White Maltings is also to connect its Quioba plant to gas when Powerco commissions its Devonport network; and Hobart's Blueline Laundry has signed a gas distribution agreement with Powerco.

Powerco board members and some staff last week visited Tasmania to view progress at a number of gas network construction sites, and to meet senior Tasmanian government and energy industry executives.

Powerco chief executive Steven Boulton said that Powerco now had customer commitments in excess of 400 Terrajoules per annum and was in advanced discussions with other large commercial and industrial users.

Powerco expects to commission the Longford network before the end of this month, its Bell Bay network by April, and its Hobart, Launceston and Devonport networks by December.