Business

Gladstone Power Station could suffer $1.1b blow

Paul Braven

GLADSTONE'S power station is facing a new challenge in the form of the Queensland Government's renewable energy target.

For many, Gladstone Power Station's three stacks signify the reason for bringing their family here for jobs over the past 40 years but the generator may now be under threat from the Annastacia Palaszczuk State Government's 50% renewable energy target.

A draft report commissioned by the Palaszczuk Government, in its bid to have 50% of the state's energy produced renewable technologies by 2030, found the power station would be hit by a $600 million to $1.1 billion cash-flow reduction if the target was reached.

That kind of financial hit would be a further blow for the power station which already runs to about 35% capacity and with a smaller workforce than any time in its history.

"While existing generators are projected to suffer very large reductions in future profits... they are expected to be able to continue to meet their avoidable costs and provide modest returns to capital," the Queensland Renewable Energy Expert Draft Report read.

NRG NEWS |

>>1 in 5 NRG workers to be axed

>>UPDATE: 'Could have killed': NRG workers back on site today

>>The Courier Mail takes aim at Gladstone Power Station

An aerial View of the Gladstone Power Station.
An aerial View of the Gladstone Power Station. Brenda Strong

But an energy expert has said the owners of Queensland's biggest power station, most emissions intensive and oldest, as well as all the others in Queensland, would have to weigh up if the small profits would outweigh the constant infrastructure costs required to run a power station.

Grattan Institute's director of energy Tony Wood said Gladstone Power Station would have to weigh up the economics to invest in upgrades.

He used the Hazelwood Power Station, in Victoria, as an example where there was speculation it would close instead of spending $10-$20 million in repairs when the profits might not be there in 10 years to justify the investment.

POWER PERFORMANCE: The emission intensity of Australia's power stations.
POWER PERFORMANCE: The emission intensity of Australia's power stations.

Gladstone Power Station has faced similar economic decision, it went through an organisational restructuring in March due to "changing business conditions both in electricity market and the resources sector in general" as explained by then general manager John Abbott.

The were job losses and termination of its maintenance contract as terminal overhauls were reduced to match the wear and tear of the station as it ran about 35% capacity because of the current impact of renewable energy.

NRG'S MANAGEMENT WOES | 

There is, however, a silver lining.

If the Gladstone station could outlast other power stations, profits could increase as there would be less suppliers to meet need.

Despite all these pressures, premier Palaszczuk said coal-fired power stations would serve Queenslanders for "many many years to come".

She said the panel which created the report had shown a pathway to deliver the government's target and implored politicians to make a submission for the final report.

Gladstone member Glenn Butcher said his concern was for the workers but said the renewable energy transition wouldn't happen with a click of the finger.

"Renewable energy will continue to grow and there could be opportunities for these workers to be utilised in the renewable energy sector if that work is viable for them," he said. "And we need to remember this is 14 years away.

"The power station is unique, it can ramp up immediately and who knows, it could be bought by industries which come to Gladstone and need their own energy generation."

NRG Gladstone Power Station was contacted for comment.

Topics:  gladstone gladstoneindustry gladstone region renewable energy renewable energy target



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Principal farewells Isis District High after 19 years

Nearly two decades at school coming to a close

Beach pub in hot water

Moore Park Beach Tavern has gone into administration.

Another local business goes into administration

Mystery mayday signal has crews in search for boat

Crews are searching following a mayday signal picked up off Bundaberg's coast on Tuesday morning.

Emergency crews searching for source of signal

Local Partners

'He can see!' Mum's tears as boy fights Taipan bite

TWO-year-old Eli Campbell continues to amaze his parents and doctors as he bravely takes on his recovery from a near-fatal taipan bite.


What's on: Saturday, December 3

Not sure what to do today? We've got you covered

Head to the sugar museum for a sweet taste of history

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the revamped Sugar Museum at Fairymead House is Mayor Jack Dempsey and Fairymead House Team Leader Hayley Vale.

Learn about the industry that made Bundy what it is

List of gigs happening around Bundy

KEY NOTE: Country singer Alex Peden. Photo: Scottie Simmonds / NewsMail

There's a live show for everyone

Sia, Keith Urban top Aussie Grammy nominations

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban at the 50th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards

Beyonce dominates with nine nods for 2017 Grammy Awards

Hailey Baldwin: I don't understand Taylor Swift's squad

Hailey Baldwin has taken a quick stab at Taylor Swift and co.

Taylor Lautner 'spotted smooching co-star'

Taylor Lautner has been romantically linked to Billie Lourd

David Beckham's tattoos come to life for UNICEF campaign

David Beckham has called for an end to violence against children

Pop star Liam Payne's Facebook hacked with porn

"Things that can happen to you when you don't have sex."

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather during his childhood.

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!