10/12/2008 - 13:50

Construction starts on WA power station

10/12/2008 - 13:50

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Construction of a new $420 million NewGen Neerabup gas-fired power station has begun, with the 330 megawatt plant to provide additional capacity to the South West Interconnected System starting from next summer.

Construction of a new $420 million NewGen Neerabup gas-fired power station has begun, with the 330 megawatt plant to provide additional capacity to the South West Interconnected System starting from next summer.

Joint venture partner ERM Power said the power station will deliver 7 per cent of the state's total electricity requirements during periods of high demand.

During the construction period, up to 350 workers will be employed with flow-on effects likely to create a further 70 jobs in the region.

Once the power station comes online in the summer of 2009/10, around six operation personnel with additional contractors is required.

The station's output will be contracted to Synergy from December 2009.

Meantime, ERM is keeping quiet on the potential sale of JV partner Babcock & Brown Power's interests in the Neerabup and Kwinana power stations.

ANZ's infrastructure division has offered $130 million for BBP's interests, however ERM has the pre-emptive rights to make an offer.

It is understood ERM has around two weeks left to exercise this option.

 

Below is ERM Power's announcement:

 

The Neerabup power station is estimated to engage up to 350 construction workers over the construction period with flow-on effects likely to create another 70 jobs in the region. Once commercial operations begin, there are expected to be around six operations personnel with additional contractors as required.

The output from NewGen Power Neerabup power station will be contracted to WA's major electricity retailer, Synergy, from December 2009.

"It will produce one third of the greenhouse emissions and use 90 per cent less water compared to a coal-fired generator.

"The station also introduces to WA ERM's trademark innovative gas-fired facility providing site-stored gas, which is fundamental in shaping gas supplies to serve peak power demands. Currently peaking plants are reliant on site-stored diesel/distillate to service that demand.

"NewGen Neerabup will save electricity consumers and the State many millions of dollars in distillate commonly used to meet peak demand, which is a most welcome environmental achievement."

Construction of a new $420million gas-fired, peaking power plant, designed to meet Western Australia's growing electricity demand, was officially launched by Energy Minister Peter Collier this morning, in Neerabup, 35km north of Perth.

The NewGen Power Neerabup power station is a 330MW open-cycle, gas-fired power plant, combined with a 30km dedicated gas pipeline, located at the Neerabup Industrial Estate.

The power station, which is designed as a peaking plant to provide additional capacity to the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) during periods of high demand, will come online in time for the 2009/10 Summer period.

NewGen Power Neerabup Chairman Trevor St Baker said the Neerabup power station will deliver seven per cent of WA's total electricity capacity requirements during periods of high demand use.

"The gas-fired Neerabup power station incorporates the most environmentally efficient technology possible, with low noise and low emission gas turbines to meet the growing peak demands for electricity in the SWIS," Mr St Baker said.

"It will produce one third of the greenhouse emissions and use 90 per cent less water compared to a coal-fired generator.

"The station also introduces to WA ERM's trademark innovative gas-fired facility providing site-stored gas, which is fundamental in shaping gas supplies to serve peak power demands. Currently peaking plants are reliant on site-stored diesel/distillate to service that demand.

"NewGen Neerabup will save electricity consumers and the State many millions of dollars in distillate commonly used to meet peak demand, which is a most welcome environmental achievement."

Mr St Baker said the demand for electricity has increased as the Perth metropolitan region grows, and the Neerabup power station would not only provide extra capacity, but would also reinforce the electricity distribution and transmission networks in the northern metropolitan region.

"NewGen Neerabup will bring an estimated economic benefit in excess of $50million to the region and, as a commitment to the local area, will also contribute up to $250,000 over ten years to assist the local Indigenous community to pursue cultural and land-related activities," he said.

"The Neerabup project, combined with the Kwinana power station, reflects ERM's long-term commitment to Western Australia."

WA Energy Minister Peter Collier said projects such as this were important in meeting the State's increasing demand for peak generation capacity.

"The Independent Market Operator forecasts that electricity consumption and maximum demand will grow at an average of 3.9 per cent per annum to 2017/18," he said.

"This generator will no doubt be a great asset to our State's electricity system when it comes online late next year."

The Neerabup power station is estimated to engage up to 350 construction workers over the construction period with flow-on effects likely to create another 70 jobs in the region. Once commercial operations begin, there are expected to be around six operations personnel with additional contractors as required.

The output from NewGen Power Neerabup power station will be contracted to WA's major electricity retailer, Synergy, from December 2009.

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