Ultra-supercritical coal-fired power station in the North is viable
Summary: A SECRET report buried by the State Government has revealed an ultra-supercritical coal-fired power station in the North is viable, citing the need for new technology to allow for existing plants to shut down.....
The Ultra-Supercritical Coal Power Station Valuation and SWOT Analysis undertaken by consultants Energy Edge was commissioned by the Labor state government and provided to the Department of Energy and Water Supply in February.
But the analysis, obtained by the LNP and provided to the Townsville Bulletin, has never been released.
Energy Edge, based in Brisbane, is understood to have more than 50 years’ experience across varying energy and environmental markets.
The emergence of the report follows months of campaigning by the LNP, which has pledged to fast-track expressions of interest for a new high-efficiency low emissions (HELE) coal-fired power station in the North Queensland within 100 days of being elected.
The LNP has also revealed it has three interested offshore proponents eager to build the estimated $2.2 billion plant.
Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said the LNP, along with the private sector, would build a HELE plant in North Queensland, “to increase energy security and lower wholesale electricity prices”.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk has been sitting on a secret report that backs the LNP’s plan to build a high-efficiency, low-emissions coal-fired power station in North Queensland,” Mr Nicholls said.
The report says the introduction of a new ultra supercritical (USC) coal-fired asset would allow existing subcritical power stations to be phased out. It goes on to reveal that building the station close to Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin would be beneficial as it would offset the load on the network by providing energy to the mine directly.
The report identified that a USC plant, which would generate “relatively low emissions”, would replace some generation with lower intensity and lower marginal costs.
A new plant would also reduce the amount of electricity imported into the state and boost exports into NSW for the southern energy markets.
“A North Queensland generator would displace electricity from central Queensland which is presently diverted north,” the report reads. “It means that CQ generation would instead tend south, enabling the servicing of SEQ loads and any excess to be exported into NSW.”
The report also notes that a USC plant could provide a secure and economic base to support both existing and new industry in Queensland.
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has also proposed to build a HELE plant in the North, but Labor has consistently denied the need for one, sticking firmly with its renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030.
Energy is expected to feature prominently throughout the election campaign as North Queensland residents continue to suffer from exorbitant power bills.
Mr Nicholls said the experts behind the report were clear.
“A high-efficiency, low-emissions coal-fired power station in North Queensland would mean more jobs in supporting new and existing heavy industry,” he said.
“The power station will also lower wholesale electricity prices so North Queensland businesses and industry can stay open and grow.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk’s refusal to support a HELE power station has condemned North Queenslanders to higher electricity prices, which have hit record highs under her watch.”