New Zealand based Solid Energy Chairman, John Palmer feels that the state run mining company should be partially privatized to meet the $10 billion capital it needs to expand. The idea is similar to the partially listed Air New Zealand ownership model, of which John Palmer is also the Chairman.
Currently 75% of Air New Zealand is owned by the state and it is also a listed company which operates as per the listed company disciplines. As per chairman John Palmer the same method could be used to raise funds for Solid Energy to help it achieve its commercial potential.
Air New Zealand had performed at least as well as the market, and in many respects had done better, even though its record for value creation and performance was somewhere between average and poor.
Solid Energy is looking to expand on several fronts such as renewable energy, lignite, underground coal gasification, coal seam gas, and biofuels. It is looking at investment of between $NZ5 billion ($A4.04 billion) and $NZ10 billion ($A8.09 billion) in the next decade.
The Government has signaled it would consider asset sales if elected for a second term, although Prime Minister John Key has ruled out selling KiwiBank after a public outcry.