The cost of refurbishing Muja power station, which was meant to cost taxpayers nothing, has officially hit $331 million.
This is even higher than the $252 million cost disclosed in the pre-election financial statements, released in February.
The original forecast, when the project was approved by former energy minister Peter Collier, was a total cost of $150 million and a completion date of October 2012.
This was to be borne entirely by Verve’s private sector partner, Victorian engineering company Kempe.
However, Kempe has withdrawn from the project, leaving taxpayers to pick up the tab for the botched project, which is currently subject to a technical review.
The treasury papers state that the government will be looking to sell a 50 per cent stake in the power station during the 2014-15 financial year.
This assumes the technical review has a positive outcome and that the refurbishment of units 1 and 2 is completed.
Units 3 and 4 are already completed and operational.