24/09/2002 - 22:00

Kimberley power times two

24/09/2002 - 22:00

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WESTERN Power is once again assessing options to supply longterm reliable power to the West Kimberley.But the second-time-around process is not deja vu for only the State utility.Tidal Energy Australia is involved again, as is Maurice Brand, a for...

Kimberley power times two

WESTERN Power is once again assessing options to supply longterm reliable power to the West Kimberley.

But the second-time-around process is not deja vu for only the State utility.

Tidal Energy Australia is involved again, as is Maurice Brand, a former director of Energy Equity (now Energy World Corporation), the company that won the original tender process with Woodside Energy but whose contract was terminated almost one year ago.

All competitors are hoping their expression of interest will be among those, in a few weeks, to receive the all-important invitation to submit a formal proposal.

Western Power is looking at 12 expressions of interest for power station proposals to supply Broome, Derby, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing and Camballin/Looma.

Two fuel supply proposals also had been submitted and Western Power will look at matching these with power station proposals.

However, most potential power station providers are already in alliance or discussions with their own fuel suppliers.

Mr Brand remains keen on power opportunities in the State’s north.

The plan he has submitted to Western Power this year is for a Port Hedland LNG processing plant, using gas from the North West Shelf.

The LNG would then be trucked north.

Mr Brand has the financial backing of Avon Resources, a company Mineral Securities brought out of administration and re-listed.

Mineral Securities executive chairman and Avon Resources director Keith Liddell said Avon Resources had funded the West Kimberley power expression of interest, and if this moved to the next stage, would fund a formal proposal.

Avon Resources has a memorandum of understanding with Mr Brand’s companies LNG International Pty Ltd and The Power Place Limited to pursue gas and power opportunities, focusing on the Pilbara and the Kimberley regions.

Avon will enter into share sale agreements with LNG International and The Power Place in the event of any successful tenders, essentially executing takeovers.

Tidal Energy Australia is keen to set up a tidal power plant in Derby, a project that appeals to Derby-West Kimberley Shire constituents much more than a trucking proposal.

Derby-West Kimberley Shire chief executive officer Jonathan Throssell said communities were keen for whichever solution would provide reliable power, economically, and with no adverse social impacts.

“However, the town [Derby] is almost totally in favour of a renewable element,” he said.

“A tidal project would have added value in terms of eco-tourism.”

Any trucking proposal would put pressure on roads and would jeopardise places such as Fitzroy Crossing in the wet season, Mr Throssell said.

The State Government plans to apply for Federal Government funding to support a successful renewable energy tenderer.

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