Rio Tinto has turned into a massive corporate bludger.
Meridian Energy has resolved its negotiations with Rio Tinto subsidiary New Zealand Aluminium Smelters locking in the Tiwai smelter until at least January 2017 – with the help of a $30 million subsidy from the New Zealand government.
The deal, which has been a year in the making, will help clear the way for Meridian’s $5 billion float on the stock exchange – expected to go ahead before the end of the year.
Resolution of the negotiations has been viewed as essential for the Government to get a good sales price for Meridian because the smelter is a key customer of Meridian.
It also makes up around 13 per cent of New Zealand electricity demand and closure of the plant would have impacted power prices across the board.
Things are pretty bad for the government when David Farrar gives them a ticking off.
But bloody annoyed they screwed $30 million from the taxpayers as a subsidy. I think the Government shouldnâ€™t have given them a cent. If the smelter closes, so be it. It is not the job of taxpayers to subsidise unprofitable industries.
If only David was as consistent with other corporate bludgers.