The largest New Zealand energy company, Genesis Power has been given a triple B-plus long-term credit rating from Standard & Poors, at a time when power prices dropped substantially on the country’s deregulated energy market.WELLINGTON, NZ 2002-02-21 [SolarAccess.com] The daily wholesale average energy price for December fell to levels less than a tenth of those experienced during New Zealand’s mid-year drought. But now, the average half-hour wholesale electricity price for the South Island reference point, Benmore, was 1.06 c/kWh in December, down considerably on 4.20 c/kWh recorded in November. Haywards, the North Island reference point recorded 1.61 c/kWh in December, compared with 4.35 c/kWh the previous month. State-owned Genesis was also given a short term rating of A-2 with a stable rating outlook, by Standard and Poors. Chief executive Murray Jackson says the rating would provide a good basis for financing a new $400 million (US$200 million) combined cycle gas turbine to significantly improve efficiency and make Genesis more profitable. Genesis was formed in 1999 after the split up of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand. The company generates around 19 per cent of the country’s power, holds a 50 per cent interest in the Kupe gas field and is also New Zealand’s largest electricity retailer with 450,000 customers.