3 Aug 2015

Solid Energy liquidation worst option - PM

7:07 pm on 3 August 2015

Liquidation is the Government's least preferred option for debt-ridden state-owned enterprise Solid Energy, Prime Minister John Key says.

Huge trucks move high-grade coal from a stockpile at the Stockton Mine near Westport.

Huge trucks carry high-grade coal at Solid Energy's Stockton Mine in 2009. Photo: 123RF

The coal mining company has told staff three options are on the table - a sell-down, an arrangement that would allow it to trade on, or liquidation.

John Key.

Prime Minister John Key Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Mr Key said, while the Government did not want to see the company liquidated, he could not rule out that out as a possibility.

The Prime Minister said Solid Energy was currently in sensitive negotiations with its banks and the next step was up to them.

"There are other options which would find more favour with the Government but of course the call is one which is made by the bankers, because essentially it's their debt."