An anti-coal group has today questioned who would consider
buying struggling state-owned coal company Solid Energy,
citing the recent example of an Australian mine being sold
for just $1.
Solid Energy did all it could to avoid the latest round of
job cuts on the West Coast, the Finance Minister says, but
the coal market has made it too difficult.
Solid Energy's briquette plant south of Mataura has been sold
to Australian-based company GTL Energy.
Plunging global coal prices have forced Solid Energy to
further slash its workforce by almost 200 jobs at its West
Coast open pit Stockton mine, the country's largest coal
Solid Energy's predicament because of slumped global coal
prices reflects Bathurst Resources' dilemma.
Continued weak international coal prices contributed to a 28%
fall in revenue in the six months ended December for troubled
Government-owned coal producer Solid Energy.
One of the country's largest farm offerings is on the market
in Southland, the more than 2000ha made up of nine farms held
by state-owned enterprise Solid Energy.
Solid Energy's future appears less certain than the
information released by the company yesterday on its debt
restructuring by banks and a noteholder.
Beleaguered coal miner Solid Energy has just three years to
turn around its fortunes, after the Government and banks
agreed to a rescue package yesterday.
All that remains after the mothballing of Solid Energy's
contentious $29 million Mataura lignite plant is a divided
community and tenant farmers, says the environmental group
which fought the state-owned enterprise's plans during the
past two years.
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