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Eastland Group’s geothermal power set to boost earnings

Eastland Group’s Te Ahi O Maui geothermal power station, near Kawerau, is largely complete and will boost the company’s earnings by $10 million a year, says chief executive Matt Todd.

The next stage is the commissioning of the power station, for which Eastland Group capitalised directly-attributable costs of $121 million in March 2018.

“The original business case had commissioning towards the end of the 2018 calendar year and we are on schedule to achieve that.”

Production from the plant, assuming a capacity of 25mW, should be about 210gWh a year.

To put that into perspective, Gisborne and Wairoa use about 300gWh per annum total, said Mr Todd.

“We would expect annual operating earnings (EBITDA) to be about $10 million per annum, so a significant contribution would be made to Eastland Group earnings and distributions.

“This will assist in allowing us to continue to grow distributions to ECT in coming years.

“We are working on understanding how we can support the region by bringing some of the power generated in Kawerau back to help benefit the people of Tairawhiti.”

But that was still a work in progress, said Mr Todd.

Eastland Group owns 94 percent of the power station, with land-owning partner A8D Ahu Whenua Maori Trust owning 6 percent.