Channel Infrastructure seeks partner to lock in secure, affordable electricity

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Channel Infrastructure, New Zealand’s leading fuel infrastructure company, has today released an RFI seeking proposals for long-term electricity supply to its Marsden Point site, which may involve the development of the Maranga Ra solar project.

The RFI is the first step in a process to be run by Channel Infrastructure to lower the significant cost of electricity to the business, at the same time as reducing carbon emissions through the development of new renewable electricity. Channel’s offtake commitments could underwrite the development of Maranga Ra, which is a fully consented solar farm project, on land owned by Channel adjacent to the Marsden Point fuel import terminal.

Commenting, CEO Naomi James said:

“Electricity is a key operating cost for our business and makes up a quarter of our operating costs, and that is why we are looking to secure long-term low-cost supply for our business preferably from renewable sources.  New Zealand electricity costs are currently significantly higher than the cost of new renewable generation capacity, making new supply a more attractive option to reduce exposure to market volatility and network costs.  Our Maranga Ra solar project provides a unique opportunity to establish new renewable capacity, at a significantly lower-cost than the market is currently delivering.”

Maranga Ra is Channel Infrastructure’s fully consented 35GWh/annum solar farm.  The project was put on hold during the company’s Strategic Review, and subsequent decision to reset operations and shutdown the oil refinery. Now that the refinery has been permanently closed, and imported refined fuel is flowing through the terminal, Channel Infrastructure is looking to secure its long-term electricity requirements, which may involve the development of the Maranga Ra solar project.

Ms. James added:

“New Zealand, and Northland in particular, has significant renewable energy potential, however the development of new renewable electricity capacity is facing two key barriers, being consenting and electricity infrastructure requirements.  With resource consents already in place at Marsden Point, and available transmission capacity, our Maranga Ra project can be developed much faster than most other solar projects being proposed.  This RFI offers potential partners an exciting opportunity to work with us as we look to lock in secure, affordable, renewable, electricity supply for the long term for Marsden Point.”

Developing sustainable operations is a key focus for the company, and one of the first acts of the new business was the release of its inaugural sustainability report, in which the company committed to net Zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 and to utilising our infrastructure to support the decarbonisation of the wider transport sector and facilitate customer Scope 3 emissions reduction by 2030.