New Zealand utility may sell its metering assets


Contact LogoWellington, New Zealand — (METERING.COM) — November 16, 2006 – Contact Energy Ltd., New Zealand’s biggest publicly traded energy company, is contemplating the sale of its metering assets in order to focus on electric and gas generation and retailing. No firm decision has yet been taken, but the utility is in talks with possible buyers. The assets may fetch as much as NZ$100 million ($66 million).

Contact is half owned by Australia’s Origin Energy Ltd. Possible buyers of the metering assets include Vector Ltd., New Zealand’s largest gas and electric distributor, the state-owned Meridian, and Powerco Ltd. Meridian is presently involved with the deployment of smart meters developed by Arc Innovations, which is owned by Meridian. These meters can be read remotely, and will also be able to gather data on and manage power consumption.