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1920 - 1986

The Otago Central Electric Power Board (OCEPB) and its predecessors have had a long history of innovative and pioneering supply of electricity. From 1924 the board, run by locally elected directors, built five hydro-electric power stations in association with gold-mining, dredging and irrigation companies, providing the only source of electrical energy to our region until connection to the national grid in 1957. On 15 October 1959 OCEPB amalgamated with the Teviot Electric Power Board. A further six power stations were built before 1998.


In 1987, the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand Ltd (ECNZ) was set up as a company under the State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Act to own and operate the generation and transmission assets of the Ministry of Energy.


The Energy Companies Act of 1992 required all municipal electricity departments and power boards to be incorporated, and allowed individual communities to determine how the shares in the new energy companies were to be held. This saw the Otago Central Electric Power Board incorporate to Central Electric Limited, on 30 March 1993 - wholly owned by Otago Central Electric Power Trust (OCEPT).


The 1998 Electricity Industry Reforms Act gave companies in the electricity market until 1 April 1999 to separate their electricity generation and trading business from their lines businesses in a bid to remove a monopoly over the supply of electricity locally.


While many other trust-owned energy companies elected  to retain their lines business; OCEPT chose to sell its retail customers and lines business  for $120 million, (the customers to Trustpower and lines to Dunedin City Council owned Aurora Energy Ltd), and retained its generation business. The profits from the sale and the value of the generation business ($155 million) were bestowed to OCEPT. Central Electric Limited was renamed Pioneer Generation Limited on 8 June 1999.

1920 - 1999

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