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Late last year, the Otago Daily Times reported plans for an eco-heating scheme to replace the largely coal-fired Dunedin Energy Centre were at an advanced stage.
This week, Mr Hodgson said while the infrastructure was approaching its end of life in "the next 10 years or so", decisions on the project would need to be reached in coming months to meet the planning needs of the Dunedin City Council.
The project had "many moving parts and multiple interested parties" and a detailed review and feasibility study of future schemes was under way.
The University of Otago was a large user of the scheme, as was the existing Dunedin Hospital and Alsco laundry.
The council was actively exploring the possibility of the existing scheme being expanded into the city centre as part of its consideration of potential low-emissions heating options for its Octagon-area buildings, Mr Hodgson said.
"By contrast, the new Dunedin hospital will be a smaller user than the existing hospital, in part because it will be built to higher insulation standards.
"Decisions will need to be reached in coming months to meet the planning needs of the DCC [council].
"Because the new facility will be at least eight years away, a key question is whether it is sensible to convert more of the existing facility away from coal in the meantime."
A university spokeswoman referred comment to the Southern Partnership Group.
The council could not respond to a request for comment this week as its staff were engaged in the council’s response to the change in the Covid-19 Alert Level shift.
However, the council’s forward work programme notes a budget review of its 10-year plan will begin in December.