Chinese deal in New Zealand receives critical reception

Steam pipelines near Taupo, New Zealand (source: Commons/ Wikimedia)
Alexander Richter 1 Jul 2013

There are critical voices to a recent decision by New Zealands Overseas Investment Office that approved investment plans of a Chinese investor into the potential site of a geothermal power plant near Taupo.

Tomorrow’s news from New Zealand report on a recent approval by New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office for a Chinese investment into the geothermal sector in the country.

The Chinese investor plans to build a $300 million geothermal power plant on a site near Taupo, and hopes to increase competition to the existing geothermal power producers in New Zealand.

Overseas Investments Office, so the news, has just approved the deal, but it immediately receives criticism. “Power is a critical component of any economy,” says New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. “To give away its ownership and profits to a foreign interest is not capable of being explained away.”

Not being hundred percent sure, we believe it is the large parcel of land that was for sale late last year, as  ThinkGeoEnergy reported on, and was once “earmarked for the development of a privately-owned 60 MW geothermal power station”.

The news report that the land already had a partly finished geothermal plant on it, and Chinese rich-lister Dr Wanying plans to spend more than $300 million for the development of the project over the next three years.

In an already somewhat saturated market, this investment sounds not very convincing and some sources in the New Zealand industry are saying that the planned plant size would not be viable for the resource in this area and is going to fail.

Source: 3 News New Zealand