Three vie for power station

MATT RILKOFF
Last updated 05:00 13/07/2012

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At least three parties have expressed an interest in buying New Plymouth's defunct power station and landmark chimney.

Contact Energy yesterday confirmed expressions of interest for the power station had closed but would not say what or how many potential buyers it had.

However the Taranaki Daily News understands that at least three offers have been made, although Port Taranaki remains the only entity officially confirmed as an interested party.

At least one and maybe two of the other groups lining up with an offer come from outside Taranaki.

Contact spokesman Jeremy Seed said the power station was not officially for sale but they would be considering offers made and deciding whether the price and conditions were right to flick it off.

That decision could be made by senior management staff within two weeks, Mr Seed said.

Between now and then they would engage in "no obligation" discussions with interested parties.

Last month Port Taranaki chief financial officer David Sharman confirmed the Taranaki Regional Council-owned entity would be putting in an offer and described the facility as the natural owner of the power station land.

Mr Sharman declined to comment further on their offer yesterday.

Todd Energy had also been bandied about as a potential buyer of the site for a gas-fired peaker plant they had been planning to build.

However yesterday's announcement they were building the plant seven kilometres south of New Plymouth would seem to nix that rumour.

The Taranaki Daily News could not contact Todd Energy yesterday.

Permanently closed in 2008, the 21.5-hectare site has a 2010 land value of $3.875 million and a capital value of $46.25m.

The site includes a number of buildings, a 198m high chimney and several storage tanks.

Contact has said the sale for the power station is "as is where is", although Port Taranaki has indicated its offer may put the responsibility of removing the chimney on the vendor.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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