Solid Energy creditors yesterday voted to retain the company's existing administrators and not to set up a creditors' committee.

The creditors' meeting yesterday morning in Christchurch was the first milestone in Solid Energy's five-week voluntary administration (VA) process.

A second "watershed" meeting will be held on September 17, also in Christchurch. Creditors will then decide whether to accept the Solid Energy board's proposals, including a managed sale of the company, either whole or in pieces, over the next two and a half years.

Solid Energy is confident creditors will vote "yes".


Solid Energy went into VA almost a fortnight ago. VA allows the state-owned enterprise, which is saddled with more than $320 million of debt, to continue to trade while creditors decide its future.

They will receive the notice of meeting and a report from the KordaMentha administrators, Brendon Gibson and Grant Graham, on September 10 - a week before the watershed meeting.

The report will include a full analysis and independent recommendation regarding the Solid Energy board's proposal that was released when its companies entered VA.

Some West Coast coalmining companies have already expressed an interest in Solid Energy's West Coast mines, including Stockton.

Coast councils and the Government have hammered out a deal to cover mine site rehabilitation.

The Crown has agreed to stump up $86.3 million in rehabilitation bonds for Stockton alone. Its previous bond was $48 million.