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by Chris Tobin

Timaru Mayor Damon Odey will speak to the South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce on Monday about the proposed sale of Alpine Energy shares.

Chamber chief executive Wendy Smith said the issue was of great interest to chamber members and so they had initiated the meeting.

“The council believed business organisations would have an interest in this area.

“The provision in the security of the supply of power is of critical importance to all businesses.”

Timaru district mayor Damon Odey.

She said businesspeople who were not chamber members could also attend if they contacted the chamber’s office.

Timaru District Holdings Ltd (TDHL), the council’s economic arm, is proposing to sell its 47.5% share in Alpine Energy to lower external debt by $22million.

TDHL would reinvest the remaining funds from the sale in other growth assets, the company said.

The other entities with shares in Alpine Energy are Line Trust South Canterbury (40%), the Waimate District Council (7.54%) and the Mackenzie District Council (4.96%).

Public submissions on the proposal close on December 10, with hearings set down for December 18.

Following the session on Alpine Energy, Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will speak to the chamber.