AGL to build $400m power sta­tion

The Australian Energy Review - - NEWS - EL­IZ­A­BETH FABRI NSW

AUS­TRALIA’S largest power gen­er­a­tor AGL will open a new $400 mil­lion gas-fired elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion plant near New­cas­tle in 2022, as part of its plans to re­place the clos­ing Lid­dell coal-fired power sta­tion. The 252 megawatt (MW) gas-fired plant will com­prise 14 re­cip­ro­cat­ing en­gine units ca­pa­ble of gen­er­at­ing 18MW of ca­pac­ity each, to de­liver en­ergy to the Na­tional En­ergy Mar­ket dur­ing peaks in de­mand. The plant, how­ever, will not be enough to fill the 1680MW gap if the 46-year-old Lid­dell closes as planned in 2022. AGL also has an off­take agree­ment for more than 300MW of ca­pac­ity from the Mao­neng Sun­raysia so­lar project; will add 100MW of ad­di­tional ca­pac­ity through a $200m up­grade of its Bayswa­ter Power Sta­tion; and is seek­ing ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est for around 500MW worth of large scale wind farms. AGL man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive Andy Ve­sey said the com­pany was cur­rently as­sess­ing sites for the new power plant near its New­cas­tle Gas Stor­age Fa­cil­ity. “AGL has now com­mit­ted ahead of sched­ule to Stage 1 of our NSW Gen­er­a­tion Plan sub­mit­ted to the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment and the Aus­tralian En­ergy Mar­ket Op­er­a­tor (AEMO) in De­cem­ber 2017,” Mr Ve­sey said. “In ad­di­tion, we con­tinue to as­sess the po­ten­tial to de­velop a fur­ther 500 MW of gas-fired gen­er­a­tion ca­pac­ity as part of Stage 2 of that plan and are invit­ing com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial cus­tomers to pro­vide their long-term de­mand com­mit­ments to en­able AGL to progress this project. “AEMO has con­firmed that our plan ad­dresses the ca­pac­ity short­fall that may oc­cur as a re­sult of Lid­dell clos­ing, and we re­main com­mit­ted to work­ing with AEMO to de­liver on that.” How­ever, AGL has since re­ceived a $250m non-bind­ing, highly con­di­tional of­fer from Chow Tai Fook En­ter­prises (CTFE) and Alinta En­ergy to pur­chase the Lid­dell Power Sta­tion and the re­lated site; in­di­cat­ing a 2022 clo­sure may not be set in stone. AGL has faced on­go­ing pres­sure to sell the plant af­ter re­ject­ing Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment re­quests to keep the project open be­yond 2022. AGL said it was as­sess­ing CTFE and Alinta’s pro­posal, and will pro­vide fur­ther up­dates to the mar­ket. “No as­sur­ance can be given that any trans­ac­tion will re­sult from the of­fer,” AGL stated. “AGL has not sought to sell the Lid­dell Power Sta­tion, as it re­quires Lid­dell to pro­vide en­ergy to its cus­tomers un­til 2022 and for re­pur­pos­ing as part of its NSW Gen­er­a­tion Plan post 2022.”

Im­age: AGL.

AGL has re­ceived an of­fer from Alinta to pur­chase its aging Lid­dell coal power sta­tion.

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