1 Dec 2010

Hydro scheme project won't fill Pike River job gap

11:45 am on 1 December 2010

Electricity company Trustpower says some Pike River Coal mine workers can probably be employed on a new hydro power project on the West Coast, though the scheme could be 18 months from getting underway.

West Coast-Tasman MP Chris Auchinvole has called for a quick start on the Arnold River power scheme, north of Greymouth, to help fill an economic and employment gap in the wake of the mine disaster.

However Trustpower spokesperson Graeme Purches says that's unrealistic, and it will most likely be 18 months before work starts.

Mr Purches says the hydro scheme would employ many fewer staff than worked at the mine.