The main use of coal in New Zealand is in the production of electric energy. Additionally, it is also used as process energy in the domestic industrial plants. About 3.1mt of coal was used domestically in 2009 which marked a significant drop of 27 per cent in consumption. The main reason for this drop was an equal decline of coal fire production at Hunty. About 4 per cent of New Zealand consumption of energy was catered for by coal as a source of energy (Morris, 1997). The reason why coal has been preferred to other sources of process energy like gas is that it is relatively cheap. For instance, electricity or diesel supplies may be very expensive when used as process energy in industrial plants. At the local level, Glenbrook steel mill is one of the largest users of coal especially as a source of process energy. The Hunty power station is also another heavy domestic consumer of coal. The dairy industry is also dependent on coal as one of the cheap and reliable sources of energy where it is used for the purposes of providing energy needed in the processing of daily products. For example, pasteurisation is a process which requires significant of energy and coal comes in handy for this application. Timber production in the lumbering industry has also used coal as the chief source of energy. Further, the health sector also depends on coal in the provision of energy which has often been regarded as not only reliable but also affordable. Hunty alone has the capacity of providing 20 percent of the energy resources derived from coal.
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