Reports of smelter demise greatly exaggerated

The BusinessNZ Energy Council welcomes the reopening of a potline at NZ Aluminium Smelters at Tiwai Point.

The Line 4 quarter potline at Tiwai Point was closed in 2012 as production there became unprofitable due to low global aluminium prices and high electricity spot prices.

Now the potline is to be reinstated as a result of a longer-term fixed-term power agreement with Meridian Energy.

BusinessNZ Energy Council Chair David Caygill said the agreement indicated the strength and competitiveness of the energy market in New Zealand.

“It shows New Zealand-produced electricity being delivered in a workable competitive market, supporting industry growth.

“Reinstatement of the potline will enable increased production by NZAS and more jobs for Southland.

“It shows how New Zealand is a great country to establish and expand new manufacturing operations given our high proportion of renewable electricity generation.”
Aluminium produced at NZAS produces ten times less carbon than that made in a country with coal dominant generation profile.

“The arrangement announced today, underwritten by Meridian and supported by contracts with Contact, Genesis and Mercury, shows that New Zealand is a great place to invest.

“New Zealand’s renewable electricity based market provides more confidence for large users than many other countries internationally – a real competitive advantage for this country on the world stage,” Mr Caygill said.

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