13/01/05State Development Minister Clive Brown today outlined a plan to build a better future for Western Australia’s coal mining communities.The Western Australian Coal Future Strategy outlines six initiatives aimed at boosting production and creating new jobs and opportunities in the coal mining industry.Mr Brown said the Government’s vision was to boost coal production from six million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 10 Mtpa over four years by developing new international and domestic markets for coal, improving the competitiveness of coal for domestic energy production and preparing the industry for an environmentally friendly future.“The Gallop Government is committed to growing the coal industry and creating new jobs and opportunities in our coal mining communities,” he said.“Collie coal has environmental advantages over other Australian coals and the Gallop Government is determined to work with industry to develop new markets, both in WA and overseas, for our coal resources.“Strong international demand for coal, particularly from China and Japan, has seen coal prices soar and there is a real possibility we will see coal exported from WA over the next few years.“By increasing production, we will see the competitiveness of coal for domestic power increase through improved economies of scale, giving coal an even higher prospect of being the fuel of choice for new power stations.“Add this to the coal industry’s opportunity to supply new domestic markets, such as the HIsmelt pig iron plant in Kwinana, and the outlook for the coal industry is extremely bright.”Mr Brown said the Gallop Government’s comprehensive strategy highlighted the inadequacies of Opposition Leader Colin Barnett’s plans.“In a letter to Mr Barnett, the South West Chambers of Commerce and Industry said the Liberal Party’s energy policy would actually have a detrimental effect on the coal industry,” the Minister said.“That is because, buried in Mr Barnett’s so-called commitment to scrap the power procurement process and build a new 300MW power station, is a caveat that the station would only be coal-fired if the end price of coal generated electricity was competitive with gas.“That is not a commitment to the coal mining industry, nor is it a commitment to coal mining communities. It is slippery, smoke and mirrors trick aimed at deceiving and creating a false impression.“Our coal mining communities deserve a carefully thought out strategy that builds a better future and that is what we have developed in the Western Australian Coal Future Strategy.”
THE WESTERN AUSTRALIAN COAL FUTURE STRATEGYDeveloping New Domestic and International MarketsThe Gallop Government recognises that Western Australia’s coal industry needs to develop new domestic and international markets if new and sustainable jobs are to be created in our coal mining communities.The Government further understands that increased production levels will improve the competitiveness of coal through economies of scale. The competitiveness of coal to natural gas will be an important factor in determining the fuel to be used in new power stations within WA.Strong international demand for coal, particularly from China and Japan, offers the best opportunity for growth in the WA coal industry. Indonesia currently exports 80 Mtpa of coal of similar quality to Collie coal - that is more than 12 times the total volume of coal currently produced in WA.
Improving the Competitiveness of Coal for Domestic PowerThe competitiveness of coal to natural gas will be an important factor in determining the fuel to be used in new power stations within WA.Both Griffin and Wesfarmers have invested heavily in new technologies aimed at reducing the cost of producing coal.Improvements in the competitiveness of coal may now be found through increased production levels and improved economies of scale.The Western Australian Coal Future Strategy will deliver this by assisting industry to develop new domestic and international markets, resulting in increased coal production and the improved competitiveness of coal to natural gas.This will maximise the likelihood of new coal-fired power stations being built in Western Australia.Preparing for an Environmentally Friendly FutureCollie coal has environmental advantages over other Australian coals in being low in sulphur and ash and containing no methane.And, in an ever increasingly environmentally conscious world, the community, Government and industry understand that continuous improvement is needed in environmental standards.The United States Government alone is currently spending billions on research into clean coal and coal gasification research.The Gallop Government understands that Collie coal’s ability to compete in both the domestic and international energy markets will be improved through the ongoing development of a more environmentally friendly fuel cycle.
|Commitment:||A Coal Industry AdvocateThe Gallop Government will dedicate a senior officer within the Department of Industry and Resources as a ‘Coal Industry Advocate’ tasked with developing WA’s coal industry.|
|Commitment:||Assist Griffin and Wesfarmers to develop export marketsThe Gallop Government will work with both Griffin and Wesfarmers to establish export markets and create new jobs in coal mining communities. As a means of assisting with market entry, the Government will not levy royalties on up to 400,000 tonnes of coal exported for trial by both companies.|
|Commitment:||Deepening the Port of BunburyThe Government is currently conducting a $1.5million study into deepening the Port of Bunbury to accommodate Cape Size vessels of approximately 120,000 dwt, in which coal is usually traded internationally. The deepening of Bunbury Port would improve the international competitiveness of Collie coal through reduced transport costs.|
|Commitment:||Review method of royalty calculation on coal exportsGriffin Coal has requested the State review the method by which it calculates the royalties paid on coal exports to ensure coal export miners are not disadvantaged.|
The Gallop Government will immediately review the method by which royalties are calculated.
|Commitment:||Assist Griffin and Wesfarmers to develop new domestic marketsThe Gallop Government is keen to see new domestic markets developed for Collie coal and will not levy royalties on coal to be used for trial in new industrial projects within WA.|Minister's office: 9222 9699
|Commitment:||Clean Coal Centre of ExcellenceThe Gallop Government will commit $100,000 to conduct a feasibility study into establishing a Clean Coal Centre of Excellence in Collie. In addition to providing new employment and training opportunities, the Centre of Excellence would conduct research into clean coal technologies using Collie coal, improving both local and international opportunities.|
Should the feasibility study confirm the benefits of a Centre of Excellence, up to $2million would be made available to build and operate the centre from the Centres of Excellence Fund.