Companies across New Zealand’s energy industry are facing increasing pressure to reinvent themselves. Changes in technology and environmental awareness mean consumers are demanding more from energy suppliers. In response, providers are investing in their business and changing their customer experience strategies; all while operating in an uncertain energy policy and regulatory environment.
Our multi-disciplinary energy and natural resources team advises New Zealand and international companies across the sector – upstream, midstream and downstream, traditional and renewables, suppliers and purchasers. We help with issues relating to oil and gas, electricity (including all four renewables – hydro, geothermal, wind and solar), coal and minerals, water and waste, government and regulatory, climate change, and consumer law. For major energy projects, we advise across the entire life cycle of energy assets – from scoping and design, planning and resource management, through to finance, construction, operation and maintenance, and then ultimately the asset sale.
Our team of specialists from across the firm provides full service legal advice throughout New Zealand’s energy and natural resources sector including:
- all commercial agreements in the sector
- all regulation of energy providers and policy reform
- finance, procurement and construction of large-scale infrastructure projects
- licences and permits - prospecting, exploration and mining
- merger, acquisition and disposal transactions, joint ventures
- land and property considerations, including iwi relations
- resource management issues, including consenting and remediation
- consumer law specific to energy industry participants
- special taxation and royalties regime.
- Acting for Vector on the sale of its Kapuni Gas Treatment Plant to Todd Energy (including securing long-term gas and LPG supply from Kapuni field after the sale, as well as the tax aspects) and the $952.5m sale of its gas transmission and non-Auckland distribution assets to First State Funds.
- Advising Powerco on all commercial agreements for its electricity distribution network.
- Assisting Mercury on a range of commercial agreements including its Mercury Solar business line.
- Supporting Aurora Energy, Vector and Transpower on Commerce Commission enforcement investigations for contraventions of service quality standards.
- Advising Transpower on the development of its regulatory strategy including response to climate change.
- Assisting directly and indirectly affected firms with submissions on and implications of the Zero Carbon Bill, including those in electricity generation and energy distribution.
- Advising Mercury on major hydro and geothermal power plant assets procurement including construction and long-term maintenance of the 220MW Turitea Wind Farm and major refurbishment of the Karapiro Dam.
- Assisting project finance lenders, Westpac New Zealand, on a new gas-fired power plant project in the Taranaki that included wrapping an existing gas-fired power plant into the project finance deal as well as the construction of a new gas-fired power plant.
- Acting for Te Ahi O Maui on the development of a 25MW geothermal power plant.
- Assisting Crown Irrigation Investments on the structuring, funding and all other legal aspects of its investments in the Central Plains Scheme.
- Advising Kurow-Duntroon irrigation scheme upgrade and in the Waimea Community Dam.
- Advising First Gas and its associated company Gas Services New Zealand on its $260m acquisition of the Rockgas LPG business from Contact Energy and its $200m acquisition of the Ahuroa gas storage field from Contact Energy.
- Assisting Beach Energy on their landmark AU$1.475b trans-Tasman acquisition of Lattice Energy, the conventional upstream oil and gas business of Origin Energy.
- Advising Shell New Zealand on all aspects of its New Zealand divestment programme including various separate divestments and overall regulatory strategy.
- Acting for Waimakariri Irrigation Limited on all resource consent matters relating to the Waimakariri Irrigation scheme, involving a large storage dam/reservoir located on the Canterbury Plains.
- Advising Mercury on planning provisions affecting its Turitea windfarm proposal in Palmerston North.
- Acting for Bathurst Resources and its New Zealand subsidiary Buller Coal on its successful resource consent application for the Escarpment coal mine on the Denniston Plateau on the West Coast of the South Island.
- Advising Shell on the tax aspects of the sale of its New Zealand upstream oil and gas operations.
- Advising the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority on four renewable energy projects in the Solomon Islands, including the proposed Tina River Hydro Development Project, the Solomon Islands' first PPP.
- Working with Tonga Power and the Electric Power Corporation of Samoa on their respective renewable energy programmes, including drafting and negotiating Power Purchase Agreements with IPPs for several solar power plant projects.
Recommended for energy work.Chambers Asia Pacific 2021