Meridian Energy is today providing an update on construction progress of its Harapaki wind farm in Hawkes Bay, highlighting an expected $53m (13%) increase in costs. This will increase total project capital costs from the original $395 million announced in February 2021 to $448 million.
The original first power milestone of June 2023 and full power by June 2024 both remain on schedule in the project timeline, while the overall wind farm capacity of 176 MW is unchanged.
Meridian Energy Chief Executive Neal Barclay says multiple risks have eventuated since bulk earthworks started in September 2021 and their magnitude exceeded cost expectations.
“The first construction season at Harapaki has been one of the wettest on record, with more than a metre of rain on site in the last 3 months of 2021, while the first quarter of 2022 saw record rainfall totals and damage inflicted by Cyclone Dovi. We have enjoyed more favourable weather conditions since April 2022, which has helped maintain our overall programme, however that has required additional civil crews”.
Mr Barclay says the combined impacts of the COVID pandemic, inflationary pressures and resource constraints will impact the project’s overall costs. “The increase in inflationary pressures as well as poor weather and COVID have combined to deliver an unavoidable impact on our project. To maintain the project timeline, the team at Harapaki has also had to come up with innovative roading design, which adds cost but mitigates future risk and I acknowledge them and our wider contractor workforce in overcoming real adversity.”
“Harapaki’s economics remain very sound, and the renewable development outlook in New Zealand has been made even more compelling by the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan released last month,” Mr Barclay says.
Meridian Energy Limited
|For investor relations queries, please contact:
Investor Relations Manager
021 246 4772
|For media queries, please contact:
Meridian Energy Media Team
0800 948 843