I’ve been dam well thinking…

…that for the money it would cost to dam the Mokohinui, you could retire the Tiwai Aluminium Smelter and free up the generating capacity of the Manapouri Power Station.

Manapouri is owned by Meridian and almost (?) exclusively supplies Tiwai with energy. Tiwai uses some 15% of the electricity nationally, as our largest single user.

Tiwai of course contributes millions to the Southland and national  economy and employs several hundred people, so I am certainly not suggesting this is an easy fix. But the future liabilities associated with Tiwai from a GHG emissions perspective have been well documented and maybe this is the time to jump.

We don’t lose one of our last wild rivers….New Zealand gets a reliable existing energy source made available to them….and Rio Tinto can finally weasal out of operating an aging aluminium smelter running at far from full production….

just a thought…be gentle

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3 thoughts on “I’ve been dam well thinking…

  1. Kevin Hague has made a video about how we can use the old abandoned mine a few kilometres south of the mokihinui as a hydro dam too so their are plenty of ways around the mokihinui dam

  2. The problem with closing Tiwai Point (apart from the impact on the Southland economy) is that Rio Tinto would likely build a replacement smelter somewhere overseas and use coal-fired generation to power it.

  3. Good point, Toad, but I guess I’ve been anti-smelters ever since the ‘No smelter at Aramoana’ days – Tiwai Point could either close, or start paying for the electricity it uses at the same rate that households in the South are paying – either way, it would drop the cost to locals significantly, ‘cos right now they’re subsidising the production of aluminium for a huge MNC.

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