Meridian Energy received notice this morning that Rio Tinto, global mining giant and owner of the Tiwai
Point Aluminium Smelter, has given 12‐months’ notice terminating the contract on and from 31 August
2021 and will be leaving Southland.
Meridian Chief Executive, Neal Barclay says, “It is disappointing for many and we acknowledge this news
will be a huge blow to the Smelter workforce and the Southland community.”
“We have worked hard to provide solutions that we believe were of lasting value to the Smelter and
acceptable to our shareholders. Ultimately Rio Tinto has arrived at a different conclusion and has decided
to terminate their contract with us.”
“As a company we have always known an exit is a possibility and we have planned for it. An exit does
provide our country with a unique opportunity to accelerate decarbonisation, making way for new
growth opportunities across numerous sectors."
“At this time we don’t have any further information about Rio Tinto’s decision but this decision does give
the industry clarity on its future,” adds Barclay.
Meridian will now take time to engage with the smelter owners and work with them on an orderly exit.
For media queries, please contact:
Polly Atkins, Senior External Communications Specialist,
MediaTeam@meridianenergy.co.nz 021 174 1715