New Zealand's Meridian withdraws application for 35-MW Amuri hydropower plant

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New Zealand utility Meridian Energy has withdrawn applications for the proposed 35-MW Amuri hydroelectric project.

Meridian and Ngai Tahu Property applied for resource consents to take, store and use discharge water along the Waiau River in Amuri Plains in October 2011. The applications were held by Environment Canterbury (ECan) while regional plans were finalized.

The company said it decided to withdraw from the project after considering demand outlooks, the need to invest in other new projects and the "commercial attractiveness" of projects Meridian already holds consents for.

"Rather than keep the community wondering if we'll develop the project, Meridian -- together with Ngai Tahu Property -- has decided to withdraw its consent applications for Amuri," Meridian Renewable Operations Manager Chris More said.

Meridian said it had also been working with Ngai Tahu on developing the 15-MW Balmoral plant along the Hurunui River in North Canterbury. An application for resource consents was filed in January 2013, Meridian said, though Ngai Tahu will now continue the Balmoral project independently.

Meridian announced that it had also halted development of the 260-MW North Bank hydropower project in January 2013 and the 100-MW Mokihinui in May 2012.

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