The Herald reports:
The country’s largest user of gas in the manufacture of methanol faces a bleak future under the Government’s ban on offshore exploration.
A briefing paper from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, one of a number of documents on the oil and gas industry released today by Energy Minister Megan Woods’ office, said Methanex would not be able to operate at full capacity from 2021 and would stop completely after 2026.
“Methanex will require a new discovery if it is to continue operating in New Zealand over the medium to long-term.”
Methanex’s managing director Dean Richardson declined to comment on the MBIE paper today.
Methanex last year had 270 staff in New Zealand, earning twice the average Taranaki wage, and about 100 contractors.
It contributed $640 million to the Taranaki economy, accounting for 8 per cent of the region’s economy, and $834m to the national economy.
People in Taranaki should be angry at what the Government has done. It wasn’t as if this was a considered decision where they weighed up the pros and cons. They just decided to kill off an entire industry by fiat regardless of the consequences.
Methanex is our only methanol manufacturer. They earn us export dollars as they export 95% of what they produce. The Government’s decision will mean they close down in NZ. This means that other countries will produce that methanol, which will actually increase greenhouse gas emissions globally. It will also mean we’ll need to import. So we lose jobs, high wages, tax revenue and damage the environment. What a genius Government we have.