15 Jun 2012

No threat to electricity supply from Huntly unit withdrawal

9:17 am on 15 June 2012

Mighty River Power says there's no threat to electricity security from Genesis' planned withdrawal of one of its units at Huntly this year, with more than enough generation to cover the loss.

The company, which the Government plans to partially list later this year, has outlined its development plans, including the $466 million Ngatamariki geothermal plant which is on track to be up and running by the middle of next year.

Internationally, it's spent about 40% of its $250 million budget on developing geothermal power projects in the United States, Chile and Germany.

Chief executive Doug Heffernan says one plant is operational in the United States and the opportunities in all three countries make the risk worthwhile.

He says risks and opportunities are different in the three countries Mighty River is involved in and some of it relates to the resource risk.

Mr Heffernan says in all three countries the electricity market risks are lower than they are in New Zealand, because typically it's possible to write 15 year contracts.

He says there is a regulatory environment in Germany which makes any electricity which from geothermal well paid.

Mr Heffernan says every one of the generating companies has potential projects coming online.

He says more capacity is being added than one of the Huntly units would represent in terms of withdrawal.

Mr Heffernan believes the market will be stronger rather than weaker in a year.