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


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

WDRC locks into Access Hong Kong

INVESTMENT: WDRC CEO Ross Musgrove, TSBE executive chairman Shane Charles and WDRC mayor Paul McVeigh at the TSBE November Enterprise Evening in Dalby.

Two council representatives off to Hong Kong

Fatality Free Friday is almost here

DRIVE SAFELY: Grant Arnold from GC Driving School urges drivers to be defensive on the roads.

Join the challenge to have zero deaths on Aussie roads this Friday.

Group will take salt dump fight to Queensland Ombudsman

ACTING ON CONCERNS: Cameby Concerned Citizens Group's Glen Beasley, secretary Jenny Kerr and chairman David McCabe, at the London Bridge crossing at the confluence of Rocky and Stockyard Creeks.

CCCG taking fight against salt dump to Queensland Ombudsman

Local Partners

Man airlifted, Warrego Hwy shut after machinery incident

UPDATE: A man pinned by a piece of heavy machinery has been airlifted to a Brisbane hospital after suffering serious injuries in the incident near Chinchilla.

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

Hervey Bays to star in international horror flick

A great white thriller that had scenes filmed on the Fraser Coast has been picked up by a major US movie studio.

Cher, 71, and Celine Dion wow world at Billboard Awards

“I’m 71 yesterday and I can do a five-minute plank, OK.”

Judah's return to The Voice stage is a knockout

Judah Kelly performs during his knockout round on The Voice.

QUEENSLAND singer nails Adele hit.

Wentworth star Daniielle Alexis: "I was born a boy"

Wentworth star Daniielle Alexis has revealed she was born a boy

Dwayne Johnson, Tom Hanks announce White House bid on SNL

Dwayne Johnson is “officially” running for president in 2020

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

The Voice: Kelly Rowland stunned by singing trio’s demands

We feel your pain, Kelly.

Trio refused to sing anything but Gospel songs

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Deputy Premier makes massive call on controversial sand mine

Aerial view of the proposed Forest Glen sand mine.

BREAKING: State Government makes huge call on Coast sand mine plans

Residents warned as scammers rip off $60k in super

Police are warning people to be aware of a sophisticated telephone scam.

Superannuation, cash targeted by sophisticated scammers

How your body corp could ban pets, turf you from your home

DOG'S LIFE: Lyn Henderson and Tawny love life in their highrise.

Laws to ban dogs/smokers and make it easy to bulldoze units

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!