05/02/2009 - 13:58

Biomass, wave energy for Hopetoun: Labor

05/02/2009 - 13:58

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

The state opposition says hundreds of sustainable jobs could be created in Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun from the investment in a biomass power plant and wave technologies, rather than a $60 million road.

Biomass, wave energy for Hopetoun: Labor

The state opposition says hundreds of sustainable jobs could be created in Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun from the investment in a biomass power plant and wave technologies, rather than a $60 million road.

The suggestion by Shadow Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan follows BHP Billiton's decision last month to shut its Ravensthorpe nickel mine, resulting in the loss of some 1800 jobs.

Ms MacTiernan said Ravensthorpe is the ideal site for a 5 megawatt mallee-based biomass power plant, the next step following a trial plant established by Verve Energy at Narrogin in 2006.

"A mallee-based biomass power plant would offer a diversified rural industry solution to providing employment and economic opportunity in Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun," she said.

"This power project would make it more feasible to develop a lithium mine at Ravensthorpe, a project which in itself could create up to 100 local jobs.

"Worldwide demand for lithium is set to treble over the next few years as it is a vital component for the emerging green electric car technology.

"Renewable energy plants would remove the need for the proponent of the mine to ship in diesel to run a generator and improve the commercial viability of the project."

Ms MacTiernan also suggested a 5MW wave power plant for Hopetoun which could also provide a direct desalination solution to local water supply problems.

She added that both the biomass plant and the wave power project could be considered for funding assistance under the Rudd government's $500 million renewable energy fund.

The state government announced it will build a road through the Fitzgerald National Park in a bid to bring tourists to the region and to help the region recover from the closure of the nickel operation.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options