Fire costs Top Energy

Fire costs Top Energy

23 November 2008

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New Zealand — Top Energy is counting the cost of a scrub fire which forced the shut down of its geothermal power station in Northland. The fire, near Ngawha, has burnt around 150 hectares of mostly conservation land since it began on Wednesday.

Top Energy chief executive Roger de Bray says they were forced to close the plant on Friday, and it has come at a cost. He says a couple of hundred thousand dollars in revenue has probably been lost while the station has been out of action.

Mr de Bray says crews are working to repair burnt fibre optic cables but it is hoped some of the station will be up and running tomorrow.

The fire is believed to have been deliberately lit. Department of Conservation spokeswoman Rolein Elliot says crews have been reassessing the hotspots. She says they will put some heat probes down into the peat layers to see how much effect recent rain has had.

Ms Elliot says there has not been any risk to Ngawha Village over the past few days.

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