Francis Logan

Francis Logan

Minister for Energy; Resources; Industry and Enterprise

    New electricity supplies for South-West grid

    21/12/2007 3:02 PM
     
    21/12/07

    Energy Minister Francis Logan has approved a decision by the Government-owned electricity retailer Synergy to purchase up to 550MW of electricity, to go online in 2009.

    The energy will be provided from two new privately-owned power stations, Griffin Energy’s 200MW Bluewaters 2 coal-fired power station at Collie and NewGen’s 330MW gas-fired power station at Neerabup.

    The Bluewaters 2 plant gained environmental approval in January 2006 and the Neerabup plant is currently undergoing environmental assessment.

    A total of 12 new power stations have been committed to be built since Labor came to power in Western Australia in 2001 (see list attached). Seven of the 12 are already in operation.

    Mr Logan said he was pleased that two private bidders had been successful in the latest contract negotiations with Synergy.

    “Increasing competition and diversity in the electricity market is a key outcome of the State Government’s electricity reforms, underpinned by the disaggregation of the former Western Power Corporation,” he said.

    “Of the 12 plants committed since 2001, 11 are privately owned. In terms of energy source, seven of the 12 are powered by gas or gas-and-oil, two by wind, two by coal, and one by biomass (forest waste products).

    “In total, they will add 2390MW of power to WA’s electricity grid, offset by the retirement of the 240MW coal-fired Muja A&B plant at Collie. The new Bluewaters 2 plant will emit about 30 per cent less greenhouse gases than Muja A&B.

    “The 240MW Kwinana B gas-and-oil plant is due to be retired in 2008 and the 240MW Kwinana A coal/gas/oil plant in 2010.

    The Minister also welcomed a $119million commitment today by Agriculture and Forestry Minister Kim Chance to extend the Natural Heritage Trust tree planting program.

    “Under the program, there have been 15 million trees planted in WA over the past three years, with a further five million to be planted next year,” he said.

    “Extending the program will now mean that by 2012, a total of 28 million extra trees will have been planted since 2005. Tree planting can play a significant role in offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.”

    Mr Logan said the contract to purchase energy from the Bluewaters 2 plant demonstrated that coal was still part of WA’s energy mix.

    “There are two fundamental requirements driving our energy supply,” he said.

    “The first is to keep the lights on. We must make sure there is enough electricity in the market to meet demand.

    “The second is to make sure the future cost of energy is sustainable, balancing the interests of the environment, the economy and consumers.

    “While coal will continue to play a role in helping us achieve these two objectives, the Carpenter Government is committed to increasing renewable energy generation in WA.

    “Renewable energy generation on the main electricity network has increased from one to five percent since 2005, and we have committed to increase this to 15 percent by 2020.

    “We have companies exploring the commercialisation of wave power, we’ve opened-up areas of the State for geothermal energy exploration, we’ve invested in exciting technology using mallee trees to produce electricity, and new-technology solar-diesel plants are under consideration for remote areas of the State.”

    Mr Logan said he was pleased at how the electricity sector had met the challenges of electricity reform and increased private sector participation in the market.

    Mr Logan said the next major challenge for the electricity sector in WA would be responding to new climate change initiatives flowing from the election of the Federal Rudd Labor Government and the ratifying of the Kyoto Protocol.

    “The electricity sector will need to quickly come to terms with substantial renewable energy targets and emissions trading,” he said.

    “We are at a transition point. I expect that all future power station developments brought to Government for approval will need to deal with the realities of an emissions trading scheme.”

    The Minister said tackling climate change would also mean changes for electricity consumers, as higher costs of low emissions electricity would ultimately be passed on to customers.

    He said the Carpenter Government would work closely with the Federal Government to usher in a new nation-wide approach to clean energy.

    POWER STATIONS - SOUTH WEST INTERCONNECTED SYSTEM 2001 to 2012

    NEW POWER STATIONS

    Cockburn 1
    Commenced operations in 2003 - 240MW of gas fired combined cycle plant, owned by Verve Energy. Plant operates as mid-merit to base load to the SWIS.

    Kemerton
    Commenced operations in 2005 - 2 x 130MW gas turbines fired on either natural gas or distillate, owned by Transfieled services and contracted through a 25 year Power Purchase agreement to Verve Energy. Plant operates to supply peak load to the SWIS.

    Pinjarra Unit 1
    Commenced operations in 2006 - 140MW of gas fired cogeneration plant, owned by Alinta (recently acquired by Babcock & Brown). Supplies electricity to contestable customers on the SWIS.

    Alinta Wind Farm
    Commenced operations in 2005 - 54 wind turbines providing 90MW capacity, owned by Alinta (recently acquired by Babcock & Brown). Supplies electricity to contestable customers on the SWIS.

    Emu Downs Wind Farm
    Commenced operations in October 2006 - 48 wind turbines providing 80MW capacity, a joint venture of Stanwell and Griffin Energy. Output fully contracted to Synergy.

    Pinjarra Unit 2
    Commenced operations in 2006 - 140MW of gas fired cogeneration plant, owned by Alinta (recently acquired by Babcock & Brown). Plant operates as base load providing steam to Alcoa’s operations and electricity to contestable customers on the SWIS.

    Wagerup
    Commenced operations in 2007 - 2 x 175MW of open cycle gas turbines fired on natural gas, owned by Alinta (recently acquired by Babcock & Brown). Plant operates as peaking plant and may later be converted to cogeneration to provide steam to the Alcoa refinery. Supplies electricity to contestable customers on the SWIS.

    Bluewaters 1
    Scheduled to commence operations in 2008 - 200MW of coal fired plant located at Collie, owned by Griffin Energy. Likely to operate as base load and largely contracted to supply Boddington Goldmine.

    Kwinana (NewGen)
    Scheduled to commence operations in 2008 - 320MW of gas fired plant (240MW combined cycle turbine/ 80MW auxiliary firing capability), owned by New Gen (ERM Power and Babcock & Brown). Contracted by Synergy (formerly Western Power) as base load.

    Bluewaters II
    Scheduled to commence operations in 2009 - 200MW of coal fired plant located at Collie, owned by Griffin Energy. Likely to operate as base load and largely contracted to supply Synergy.

    NewGen Neerabup
    Scheduled to commence operations in 2009 - 330 MW open cycle gas turbine power station to be fired on natural gas. The plant to be located in the Neerabup Industrial area is being developed by ERM Power and NewGen Power. Partly contracted by Synergy.

    Western Australian Biomass
    Scheduled to commence operations in 2009 - 40 MW boiler/steam turbine power station to be fired on biomass. Contracted by Synergy.

    Minister's office - 9222 8950