Kwinana Power Station will be shut down from October 2015 after the State Government announced the final phase of decommissioning.
Energy Minister Mike Nahan said the Government had agreed to the last step in the decommissioning - the shutdown of the 37-year-old Stage C of the station.
Dr Nahan said Kwinana Power Station Stage C (KPSC) would operate as usual until 2015, and energy security would not be compromised by the unit’s closure.
The Minister said it was conservatively estimated that it would have cost $50million to extend the life of KPSC to 2018 or 2020.
“Kwinana Power Station was built in the 1970s and its age means it’s simply uneconomic to extend the life of the plant,” he said.
“The closure of Kwinana Power Station Stage C will not impact the WA electricity market.”
Dr Nahan said approximately 100 staff would be affected by the decommissioning of the station. Verve Energy would assist staff to redeploy within the corporation, undertake retraining or access redundancy.
The Minister said Verve Energy and the State Government continually make strategic assessments about ageing electricity infrastructure and KPSC has been in the process of progressive retirement.
Kwinana Stages A and B were closed in September 2010 and December 2008 respectively, and retirement of Stage C is the final step in phasing Kwinana Power Station out of service.
Dr Nahan said the long term future of Kwinana Power Station was always evaluated against the need to invest in other generation options such as renewables, coal, gas, and dual and multi-fuel alternatives, and Verve Energy’s necessity to operate within a 3,000MW generation cap.
The State Government has invested significantly in measures to guarantee supply following the Varanus Island explosion in 2008.
Verve Energy will maintain ownership over the Kwinana site, which is of significant strategic importance and is home to the high efficiency gas turbines (HEGTs) and Cockburn Power Station.
Successive State Governments have been required to determine the future of large, base-load power stations, like East Perth, Bunbury and South Fremantle that were built many years ago and had finite life spans.
Kwinana Power Station (KPS) began producing power on September 11, 1970
KPS was built in three stages (Stages A, B & C; comprising of six generating units (originally 880MW, burning gas, coal and liquid fuels)
The station was originally designed to burn oil but a surge in oil prices prompted conversion to coal and then later gas
Minister’s office - 6552 5700