Meridian secures wind power across the Tasman

Government-owned Meridian Energy has signed contracts with Danish turbine manufacturer NEG Micon for the installation of up to 600MW of wind power in Australia and New Zealand over the next six years.
Meridian secures wind power across the Tasman  Meridian secures wind power across the Tasman  Meridian secures wind power across the Tasman  Meridian secures wind power across the Tasman  Meridian secures wind power across the Tasman

The first contracts, worth almost $NZ300 million, are for NEG Micon to supply turbines to the Wattle Point site on the Yorke Peninsula, South Australia, and at Te Apiti in the Manawatu Gorge, New Zealand.

The New Zealand site will have 55 NM72 turbines and the Australian order is for 50 NM82 turbines with an option for nine further units.

Meridian Energy Keith Turner said the ability to do a deal for turbine supply to two sites had made a significant impact on wind farm viability in Australasia.

"Meridian Energy and NEG Micon have developed a close relationship over the past year and this has resulted in an innovative approach to the wind development programme. NEG Micon brings international expertise, manufacturing capability and on-site installation direction to our wind development programme on both sides of the Tasman.

"This, coupled with Meridian's ability to offer suppliers projects of substantial size, has resulted in a significant commercial result for both companies.

"This agreement is very exciting for us as it places Meridian and NEG Micon at the forefront of wind development in Australasia and demonstrates the value of working together with a top-performing supplier."

Te Apiti turbines will be delivered to the site from early next year and the wind farm producing electricity into the national grid by the spring of 2004. Palmerston North-based Higgins Contractors will be doing the civil engineering work, access roads and turbine foundations, for the 1150ha site.

Earlier this year Meridian paid United States' Alliant Energy about $A585 million for Victoria's 10-station Southern Hydro scheme, to complement the five small hydro stations in New South Wales and Victoria it already owned and operated.

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