31 August, 2007
e3p leads the way towards a sustainable NZ
Speech at opening of Genesis Energy e3p power station, Huntly
Thank you for inviting me here today to open the Huntly energy efficiency enhancement project power station, also known as e3p.
It is always interesting for me to visit different companies around the country, and I enjoyed my tour of the facility - it’s definitely one of a kind.
I would like to start by congratulating Brian Corban, Murray Jackson, and the rest of the Genesis Energy management and staff on the completion of the e3p power station.
This project has taken many years, and approximately $500 million, to come to fruition, and I would like to briefly look back over some of the history.
Just prior to the formation of Genesis Energy in 1999, the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand had identified the need for increased reliable base-load generation to meet the projected increase in demand for electricity in New Zealand, and the concept of Huntly e3p was born.
Sustainability is a key focus of the Labour-led government, and if we are to make a difference to climate change it is vital that we cut down our greenhouse emissions.
It is great to see Genesis Energy taking this on board and turning their focus away from fossil fuel generation, and towards renewable energy sources, with their aim to eventually retire the coal fired power station for use in drought years.
And we are already seeing the benefits of e3p with greenhouse gas emissions reduced by a third last month, than in July last year.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, New Zealand will become liable for its emissions in January 2008.
There is currently work being done on an emissions trading scheme which will be economy wide, over time, and include all sectors and all gases.
This scheme will encourage early action and a positive attitude towards reducing emissions so that both our economy and environment can reap the benefits in the future, however no final decisions on this have been made at this stage.
E3p was handed over to Genesis Energy from Mitsubishi on 30 June 2007.
Since this time, e3p has supplied enough electricity to the electricity market to support the requirements of approximately 100,000 average New Zealand homes for a year.
I am pleased to say that not only will e3p provide baseload generation the country needs to grow, but it will also substantially offset emissions from high emitting coal-fired generation.
In fact, e3p will lead to a reduction of around 1.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year which would otherwise have been emitted from the coal-burning Huntly power station.
That amounts to around 20 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions from all power generation in New Zealand.
This reduction in emissions is very important in the context of the Labour-led government’s energy strategy, and our desire to promote sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint of the electricity generation sector.
In conclusion, I congratulate all of you here today who were involved in the realisation of this project.
You should be proud of your achievements, and thank you once again for inviting me to be here today.
I would now like to invite Brian Corban and Murray Jackson to join me for the unveiling of the plaque.