Independent New Zealand media outlet News24 has reported that Connexus Energy has announced plans to shut down 500 MW of its coal-fired power plant by the end of 2022.
The news comes just days after the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the closure of 1,300 MW of the nation’s largest coal power plant, which was built by an Australian company.
The decision to close the plant came after an independent assessment by the New Zealand government.
The announcement comes amid growing criticism over the nation´s coal industry, which has seen emissions rise by as much as 50% since 2011 due to the closure.
New Zealand was the first country in the world to close its coal plants in 2015, following a court order.
As part of the closure plan, Connexus has been trying to reduce emissions by increasing coal-burning to reduce its carbon footprint and by replacing old coal plants with new technology.
Connexus is the largest publicly-traded electricity company in the country, with an estimated turnover of $8 billion.
“We are proud to have the support of the New York state legislature and the Governor of New York State, to ensure that we can ensure that New Zealand remains the leader in clean energy,” the company said in a statement.
This is not the first time that Connexon has announced the closing of a coal plant.
In March this year, Connexion Energy announced it would shut down its coal power plants by 2022.
In the past, Connoxon has also cut back on the number of new coal-powered power plants it builds.
On the day of the announcement, the company was given the green light by the Federal Government.
At the time, the Governor said the decision to shut the plants was “unusual” and that the decision was in the public interest.