18/06/2009 - 00:00

Griffin eyes Mid West

18/06/2009 - 00:00

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AS the post-state budget debate over critical electricity supply to the growth region of the Mid West continues, the state government's backing of the Oakajee port is attracting new interest in power generation investment in the resurgent minerals provinc

Griffin eyes Mid West

AS the post-state budget debate over critical electricity supply to the growth region of the Mid West continues, the state government's backing of the Oakajee port is attracting new interest in power generation investment in the resurgent minerals province.

Private energy group Griffin is believed to be considering the possibility of building a gas-fired power plant near the proposed port to supply nearby miners.

Griffin would be the third player to put its hand up to power the Mid West, with Eneabba Gas and Aviva Corporation both vying to provide electricity to the area.

Griffin is understood to be considering as much as 400 megawatts of generation close to the port, a major user in its own right. However, it would need to secure gas for its proposal and would be likely to rely on taking some of the domestic gas allocation from Chevron's Wheatstone project.

Owned by Monaco-based Ric Stowe, Griffin is a late entrant to the race. However, the state government's decision to withhold about $700 million in funding required to upgrade the transmission lines between Perth and Geraldton has changed the Mid West picture.

The delay has the potential to stall Aviva's $1.3 billion Coolimba Power project, a 400-450MW plant based near Eneabba fired by nearby coal.

Eneabba Gas is focused on the development of the 168MW syngas, gas-fired Centauri 1 power station near Dongara. Eneabba said its plant, which can be upgraded to almost 400MW, has secure gas supplies and does not immediately need the transmission lines upgraded.

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