June 20, 2008

Why Southland’s Rated to Be NZ Powerhouse

SOME of the reasons given for the prediction that Southland is set to become the energy and dairy powerhouse of the New Zealand economy within a decade: wMore than 1100 megawatts of wind power and small-scale hydro schemes are slated for construction.

wDistrict authorities and Woosh have already rolled out broadband costing $8.5 million to cover 96 percent of Southland, now the most connected region in the country.

wDairy farm conversions are increasing 15 percent year on year; Fonterra is spending $212 million expanding its Edendale factory, making it the largest milk-processing plant in the Southern Hemisphere.

wTwo new milk-processing plants are being built to exploit the regional boom.

wSouthland's wood supply, at present 7.5 percent of national stocks, is about to peak in 2012.

wLicences are sought to mine a billion tonnes of high-grade silicon to exploit global demand for solar technology.wUnemployment is 1.3 percent.

Migration has topped 900 annually.

wSouth Port is gearing up to service large-scale energy projects such as TrustPower's 220MW Kaiwera Downs project and the 150MW Wind Prospect Venture at Wyndham.

wExport receipts are up 42 percent compared with last year, mainly on the back of dairying.

wSix billion tonnes of low-grade lignite representing tens of thousands of petajoules of energy are waiting to be converted in the region.

wExploration of the Great South Basin for oil reserves.

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