Announcement

GENERAL: MEL: Transpower to recommence Clutha-Upper Waitaki Lines Project 08:41a.m. 
MEL  
03/12/2019 08:41  
GENERAL  
PRICE SENSITIVE  
REL: 0841 HRS Meridian Energy Limited (NS)  
 
GENERAL: MEL: Transpower to recommence Clutha-Upper Waitaki Lines Project  
 
The New Zealand national grid owner Transpower (NZX:TRP) has today announced  
commencement of further work on the Clutha to Upper Waitaki Lines Project.  
 
As part of this work programme, under a new agreement, Meridian (NZX:MEL)  
will contribute 5 million dollars (NZD) to Transpower's programme, to support  
work starting two of the three remaining projects over the upcoming 2019/20  
New Zealand summer months. The aim is to complete all the remaining projects  
by June 2022, almost a year ahead of what would have been considered  
previously.  
 
Contact Energy (NZX:CEN) has also today announced a separate agreement with  
Transpower to support the commencement of the remaining project works.  
 
Meridian's Chief Executive Neal Barclay says, "We commend Transpower for its  
response and collaboration in commencing the next phase of evolution of New  
Zealand's national grid."  
 
Once the remaining works are complete, it will alleviate existing constraints  
and significantly reduce the risk of renewable electricity not being  
dispatched, should Rio Tinto choose to close its Tiwai Point aluminium  
smelter in the future.  
 
New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Limited's major shareholder, Rio Tinto,  
announced on 23 October 2019 it was initiating a strategic review of the  
smelter and will provide the market with an update on their process by the  
end of the first quarter in 2020.  
 
"Transpower's announcement, with the support from Meridian Energy and Contact  
Energy is a positive investment for New Zealand and will mean renewable  
electricity from fantastic South Island hydro stations can be used by more  
Kiwis," adds Barclay.  
End CA:00345349 For:MEL Type:GENERAL Time:2019-12-03 08:41:30  

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