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[sharechat] Contact Energy What about the combined cycle station?

From: rocket <>
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2000 12:18:25 +1200

One of the problems with the electricity in N. Z. is distribution. All the factories (Clyde High Dam, Benmore, and Manapouri) are at one end of the country, while customers are at the other end (Auckland). The current solution is the expensive Cook Strait cable, which is also technically vulnerable. It would only take a trawler to drag its net across the cable to total the system for many months.

Contact Energies solution was the combined cycle generation plant in South Auckland (Otahuhu I think) A combined cycle station is basically a jumbo jet engine bolted to the floor, burning natural gas instead of aviation fuel.

This solution has two problems;

  • The technology used in the station is leading edge, designed to extract the maximum in energy efficiency from the station. I have been informed that the technology used has been very problematic, especially during the commissioning phase. The plants constructor, Siemens, was required to make several non performance penalty payments to Contact. I have not had any recent information as to how the station is currently performing, Continuing problems or acceptance of sub optimum performance, would be a drag on Contacts value.



  • The fuel used in the station is natural gas, primarily from the Maui Field. I would assume that Contact is drawing down its Take or Pay entitlements it inherited from the Government to fuel the station. The drawback to using natural gas, is that the primary source of supply Maui is due to run out in 2009. Unless a substantial new source of natural gas is available by then, is that after 2009 Contact may not be able to fuel the station economically.
Any comments on this are welcome.

Cheers Rocket
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