@ New Plymouth Power Station ( New Zealand )
Commissioned in 1976 to meet rising electricity demand in New Zealand. Initially, fuel for this power station was to be coal, barged up from the West Coast, and the Port Taranaki site was chosen ahead of one at Wanganui. During early stages of the project, the Maui gas field was discovered off Taranaki. The plant design was changed to be dual fuel on either natural gas or heavy fuel oil.
The first unit was commissioned in February 1974, with the fifth unit coming on line in 1976. For the first few years, the plant ran on raw Kapuni gas, converting to Maui gas in 1979.
The fuel oil capability was decommissioned in 1991, and reinstated in 2003.
Plant operation generally decreased from 1999, after the more efficient Otahuhu combined cycle power station was commissioned.
However, the New Zealand power system derives over 60% of its electricity supply from hydro power stations and depends heavily on rainfall. NPPS has often played a vital role in dry years (such as 2001 and 2003), when hydro lake inflows were insufficient to meet demand.
Discovery of asbestos, not in an asbestos register, in thermal insulation during 2007 led to the decision by Contact Energy to close the power station.....
When it was completed in 1972 the Power Station Chimney was the tallest manmade structure in New Zealand.
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