Govt blocked grandiose Solid Energy plans in 2009
The government blocked proposals in 2009 from its coal mining company Solid Energy for a billion-dollar capital injection to allow it to become “the Petrobras of this country”, Prime Minister John Key says.
Key says Govt turned down Solid Energy loan plan
Prime Minister John Key has released papers which he says prove the Government turned Solid Energy down for a capital loan.
Key released the papers today in response to Labour’s accusations that he misled the public in claiming the coal miner had requested a $1 billion investment from the Government. The Prime Minister is adamant that he turned a bid down. …
However, former Solid Energy chairman John Palmer has rejected Key’s suggestion that the company wanted large sums of money to invest in new projects. …
Labour leader David Shearer today reacted to the Prime Minister’s claims by saying that “Key is trying to cover his tracks with false leads on the $1 billion claim”.
“Key has scored an own goal by releasing paperwork to supposedly prove his claim that Solid Energy asked him for a billion dollars, when the documents actually show the company wanted to chase billions of dollars from private investors not the Crown,” he said.
Key Must Front Up With $1 Billion Evidence
John Key must front up with the evidence that Solid Energy formally requested a $1 billion dollar capital injection after the former company chair blew that claim out of the water, says Labour’s SOEs Spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.
“The Prime Minister has just made it up and he’s been found out. He tried to create the impression he was some kind of white knight riding to the rescue of taxpayers by knocking back a Solid Energy bid for $1 billion capital injection. But that’s now been exposed as just a fantasy in his own mind. Although there is another word for that!
“This is what John Key told Kiwis at a press conference on February 25th: ‘They (Solid Energy) wanted a very large capital injection in the order of $1 billion’.
“But former chairman John Palmer has blown that claim out of the water saying: ‘I cannot recall that we have ever asked him explicitly for $1 billion dollars’.
“So who’s telling the truth? With the Prime Minister’s track record, it’s not likely to be him.
Key’s $1b Solid Energy request in doubt
Newly released papers raise fresh questions over Prime Minister John Key’s claim that Solid Energy asked for $1 billion of taxpayers’ money to fund its transformation into a massive resources company.
Key made the claim earlier this year when it was revealed the state-owned coal miner was on the verge of collapse under the weight of almost $400 million in debt. …
Solid Energy’s business proposal said the Government’s willingness to forgo dividends from Solid Energy and Kupe were essential for the project to proceed, and it would require extra equity of up to $1 billion on top of that to fund the expansion.
However, it did not seek that from the Government in the proposals, saying: “All this can be achieved … without requiring a direct Government equity contribution (other than forgoing dividends from Solid Energy and Kupe for up to 5-10 years).”
This is not just a case of a momentary “brain fade” from Key. He made the claim repeatedly, tried to justify it, but the claim is not true. Once again, John Key has been caught in a lie.