Solid Energy chairman to step down early

03:07, Jun 22 2012

Solid Energy chairman John Palmer will step down later this year, a year earlier than planned, the state coal miner announced today.

Palmer said although his current term did not end until October 2013 bringing this forward was right for company and for himself.

Palmer joined the board of Solid Energy New Zealand in November 2006 and was appointed
chairman in January 2007.

"This had been a very difficult decision to make. In the next three years the company has not only a strong growth strategy to implement but must also prepare for partial privatisation, which I continue to strongly support," he said.

This would create a heavy workload for the board and chairman, and Palmer said his personal situation means he would not be able to continue when his term expired next year.

"It is preferable to allow a new chair to get well established as soon as possible to provide continuity and lead the company through this period."

Palmer said Solid Energy had an exciting future despite the current international market conditions, and had the leadership, management and technical capability to be an increasingly important part of the New Zealand economy.