08/03/2010 - 10:57

EPA approves Bluewaters expansion

08/03/2010 - 10:57

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The state environmental watchdog has recommended that Griffin Power be granted approval to expand its Bluewaters coal-fired power station near Collie, saying it is unlikely to compromise the surrounding environment.

The state environmental watchdog has recommended that Griffin Power be granted approval to expand its Bluewaters coal-fired power station near Collie, saying it is unlikely to compromise the surrounding environment.

The Environmental Protection Authority today released its recommendations on Griffin Power's proposal to construct and operate phases three and four of Bluewaters.

The project operator, Griffin Power 3 Pty Ltd and its parent company, Griffin Power - which are part of Rick Stowe's Griffin coal and power group - are not under administration.

Administrators have been appointed to six of Mr Stowe's companies; Griffin Coal, Griffin Energy, WR Carpenter Holdings, Carpenter Mine Management Pty Ltd, Carpenter Mine Management Holdings and ACN 122 080 684, and WR Carpenter Australia Pty Ltd.

EPA chairman Paul Vogel said the proposed expansion is unlikely to compromise EPA objectives provided there was satisfactory implementation by Griffin Power 3 of the recommended conditions.

'The results obtained from the health risk assessment indicate that atmospheric emissions from the proposed generating plants are unlikely to have a significant impact on human health at nearby sensitive receptors," he said.

"The emissions from the Muja A and B generating plants are predicted to have the most significant impact in this regard.

"Predicted exceedances of the National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM) standard are largely due to SO2 emissions from Muja Power Station. The NEPM standard is not predicted to be exceeded within the Collie town site.

"The EPA has recommended a condition to limit stack emissions from the Bluewaters Phase III and IV generating plants.

"For greenhouse gas emissions the proponent has indicated that the proposed generating plants would be designed and constructed to be 'carbon capture and storage' ready in general accordance with the International Energy Agency.

"However, the 'where, when and how' of the carbon capture and storage has not been delineated by the proponent and the likelihood that carbon capture and storage will become technically and commercially viable in the near future is uncertain.

"Among other greenhouse gas - related conditions the EPA has recommended a condition requiring retrofitting of carbon capture and storage within 5 years of the technology becoming economically and technically proven."

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