Resources minister funds studies for new coal and hydro plants

Photo: Shine Energy

A new coal plant and a hydro-electric plant are among the solutions proposed by the new resources minister Keith Pitt. The government says the energy infrastructure program will deliver reliable electricity for high energy-using and trade-exposed industries in central and North Queensland.

Through the overall $10 million Supporting Reliable Energy Infrastructure program, up to $2 million will go towards a pre-feasibility study regarding a 1.5 gigawatt (GW) pumped hydro-electric plant proposed by Renewable Energy Partners.

The remaining $4 million will go towards Shine Energy’s feasibility study for a proposed 1GW “high efficiency, low emissions coal plant” at Collinsville in Queensland

“This investment is laying the platform to help ensure that reliable, cheap electricity is available when it is needed, and will help drive down prices for businesses and their customers across Queensland and Australia,” to the new Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said.

According to Pitt, the commitments would help secure long-term energy supplies, which are crucial to economic development and Queensland jobs.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said an independent strategic study has identified system strength is a real concern in central and north Queensland, and new synchronous generation is a priority to meet the energy needs of customers in the region.

“Our plan to unlock investment in new, reliable generation capacity will increase competition, keep the lights on, and lower prices to better support our commercial and industrial sector so they can employ more Australians and remain internationally competitive,” Taylor said.

A further to $1.5 million has been allocated towards electrifying the Curtis Island LNG facilities. Partial electrification could free up to 12 petajoules of natural gas for use in the domestic market which will reduce emissions and lower gas prices.