26 Jul 2013
TrustPower's New Zealand generation production was 579GWh in the first quarter, 4 per cent below same period last year and 5 per cent below expected long term average production, reflecting both lower North Island hydro and wind production versus prior period.
New Zealand hydro storage levels improved to above average during the quarter and consequently wholesale electricity prices were significantly lower than the same period last year.
The Snowtown Wind Farm produced 85GWh during the first quarter which was 4 per cent down on prior period and 2 per cent below long term expectation.
Mass market customer sales were down 26 GWh (2 per cent) for the first quarter compared prior period while Time of Use sales were down 53GWh (10 per cent). Competition remained intense across all retail segments. Effective 1 July 2013 TrustPower completed the acquisition of Energy Direct New Zealand’s assets including approximately 15,000 electricity customers, 10,000 gas customers and 37 Wanganui based employees. The transition is going to plan. TrustPower sees this as an exciting opportunity to grow its customer base in the lower North Island and to be involved in the retailing of gas for the first time which we expect will enhance TrustPower’s multi product proposition over time.
The 3.8MW hydro project at Esk Valley in the Hawkes Bay is experiencing some delays due to poor weather during the final stages of construction. Target commissioning is expected two months late in August 2013 final project cost is expected to be a little over the $13 million budget.
Good progress continues to be made on the construction of the 270MW Snowtown Stage II Wind Farm. Civil work, including wind turbine foundations is 80 per cent complete. The 28km 275kV transmission line is 95 per cent complete. The first shipment of blades and towers and the first of the two main transformers have arrived on site. The first shipment of wind turbine units has also been dispatched from Siemens’ manufacturing facility in Denmark. The energisation of the first turbine is expected to occur late September/early October 2013.
The Board is satisfied with the Group’s year to date trading performance.
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