20 August 2001
Old Faithfuls Power Up for Crisis
Carter Holt Harvey is firing up some of its more venerable electricity generators to help in the power crisis.
On Wednesday, the company brought a Swedish 1920s-vintage ASEA hydro generator back into action at its decommissioned
Mataura Paper Mill site in Southland, Russell Longuet, Manager-Energy, said.
Carter Holt Harvey has also cranked up a steam generator at its Whakatane Mill, and has recommissioned a little-used
standby generator at the Oxygen Business Solutions headquarters in Captain Springs Road in Auckland.
"We are pleased to say that the Mataura generator is fully up and running, and we are delivering up to 900 kilowatts
(equivalent in power needs for 800 houses) to the national grid," Mr Longuet said.
The Mataura generator had not been used for over 12 months, and the Whakatane turbine - producing 2.2 megawatts, or 15
percent, of the plant's total power needs - had been recommissioned after nine years without needing to be used.
The Oxygen Business Solutions site usually drew all its power from the national grid, Mr Longuet said, but was now
completely self-sufficient in electricity when its emergency standby generator was running. Mr Longuet said Carter Holt
Harvey had been proactive in encouraging energy savings, and had started to issue a new weekly bulletin to all staff
that provided practical tips for saving electricity in the workplace and at home. "We are working to cut back on our
consumption of electricity to help during the crisis. But these old generators were clearly built to last and it has
been a real bonus to have them available so we can provide additional electricity to New Zealanders."
Alan Seay, a spokesman for Meridian Energy, which has worked closely with Carter Holt Harvey in accessing power from the
Mataura site, said it was terrific to see the old turbine back in action.
"At a time like this we are grateful for all the supply we can get, and we welcome the initiative of companies like
Carter Holt Harvey in coming up with some novel answers to the crisis," he said.