Meridian confirms that the COVID 19-related suspension of the 50MWh per hour Potline 4 contract between Meridian and NZAS will remain in place till 31 August 2021. Before that date, the Smelter owners NZAS can recommence operation of Potline 4 at any time and can restore the full contract quantity of 50MW on 5 days’ notice.
The Potline 4 contract is a separate contract to the main electricity agreement between Meridian and NZAS. It was signed in May 2018 and runs until December 2022. In April 2020, NZAS exercised its right to reduce quantity under the Potline 4 contract to zero.
Meridian’s main electricity agreement with NZAS provides price certainty for NZAS for up to 572 MWh per hour (5,011 gigawatt hours per year) of electricity. On 9 July 2020 Rio Tinto gave notice to Meridian terminating the main electricity agreement with effect on and from 31 August 2021.
As widely reported, Meridian has put a confidential proposal to NZAS with the objective of supporting closure of the smelter over a longer period of time than the announced period up to 31 August 2021. Meridian has proposed up to four years. To date that proposal has not been accepted.
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