AGL to build $400m power station
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.”
AGL has received an offer from Alinta to purchase its aging Liddell coal power station.