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Final pair fired up for power duel

Maurice Brand’s Kimberley Power has made the grand final for a Western Power power purchase agreement to supply electricity to five Kimberley centres for the next 20 years.

Kimberley Power is up against Energy Developments, commonly known as EDL, an established power producer already operating remote area power stations in the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Mr Brand was first involved in plans to supply the region when the former Energy Equity was preferred bidder in joint venture with Woodside’s Metasource.

This time, he will be equity-backed by ANZ Infrastructure Services, with ANZ investment bank arranging finance debt.

Mr Brand is also backed by listed company Avon Resources, part of the portfolio of Mineral Securities, which is jointly owned by Keith Liddell and Australian Heritage Group.

Kimberley Power is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Power Place, which has been sponsored in this bid, together with associated company LNG International, by Avon.

In an April 2002 memorandum of understanding, Avon agreed to purchase LNG and Power Place, should the Kimberley bid be successful.

Kimberley Power’s proposed operating and maintenance contractor will be Integrated Power Services, jointly owned by Western Power and Halliburton.

The company is proposing base load plants using LNG trucked from LNG International’s proposed Port Hedland plant.

LNG International has a memorandum of understanding with the Point Torment gas field permit holders, for the wellhead purchase of gas expected to be proven from a drilling program scheduled to commence next month.

EDL has two proposals still in contention, using either LNG or CNG, which will also be deliver-ed by road, from Karratha.

Following a unique tender process that some have said gave away little indication of how Western Power operates, a final single bidder is expect-ed to be known in August.

One company experienced in negotiations with Western Power, Burns and Roe Worley, has missed out on this bid, along with fellow shortlist member StateWest Power.

Laying out of the pipeline to supply gas to BRW’s new Esperance power plant will commence within two weeks, and work on the power station site by mid-July.

BRW is also working on finalising its power purchase agreement with Western Power to supply power to Exmouth.

Nevertheless, on the Kimberley opportunity the company was still "disappointed", WA and NT regional manager Les Green said.

Western Power is hoping to have a Kimberley Power Purchase Agreement signed off by the Energy Minister early next year.

This will allow new power stations to be operational in Broome, Camballin-Looma, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek in 2005.

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