11/09/2007 - 22:00

Powering up the in the South West

11/09/2007 - 22:00

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More than 850 megawatts of additional generation capacity for the South West Interconnected System is expected to come online by October 2008, with 3 major private energy projects currently under construction scheduled for completion within the next year.

Powering up the in the South West

More than 850 megawatts of additional generation capacity for the South West Interconnected System is expected to come online by October 2008, with three major private energy projects currently under construction scheduled for completion within the next 12 months.

With a second cogeneration unit at Alcoa’s Pinjarra refinery completed earlier this year, Alinta has begun stage one of its gas-fired cogeneration facility at Wagerup refinery.

Comprising two 162MW gas turbines, Alinta expects the first electricity from stage one to be delivered later this year. It will also provide reserve generating capacity to the South West power grid for the 2007-2008 summer peak power demand period.

Griffin Energy’s 208MW Bluewaters 1 coal-fired power station, the first in the series of units to be built, is also currently under construction, and is expected to be completed in late 2008.

Late 2008 will also mark the scheduled completion of Wambo Power’s $400 million, 320MW NewGen Kwinana power station.

The largest project outside the South West grid, Energy Developments’ West Kimberley Power Project, has been hit with significant rises in material and labour costs, as well as further commissioning delays.

Managing director Chris Laurie said the total cost of the project, including development, financing and delay costs, was now in the range of $310 million to $320 million, up from its previous forecast of $265 million to $275 million.

LNG from its Karratha plant is expected to be available to its power stations later this month.

In addition, a number of renewable energy projects have been proposed for the South West, which could potentially add more than 400MW of renewable energy to the grid.

Two biomass projects – Western Australian Biomass’ 40MW Bridgetown plant and SpiritWest Bioenergy’s 46MW Neerabup plant – are close to being finalised.

Last month, Western Australia Biomass, a consortium of Babcock and Brown, National Power and Carbon Solutions, won a supply contract with energy retailer Synergy, despite the plant still waiting on the necessary environmental and regulatory approvals.

SpiritWest Bioenergy’s biomass plant, which has obtained the necessary approvals, is on track for its intended start date of October 2010.

Albany timber precinct, Mirambeena, has also been slated for two major biomass projects –  Biogen Ltd’s $80 million 40MW plant, and the larger 92MW plant proposed by Great Souther BioEnergy Holdings.

Emu Downs windfarm proponents, Griffin Energy and Stanwell Corporation, also have plans for a 130MW windfarm, to be located at Joanna Plains, near Badgingarra.

The Dampier-Bunbury Pipeline will undergo further expansion, with the approval of stage 5A(2) announced last month. This expansion will involve a further 140 kilometres of looping and some additional compressor station modifications.

Construction of the $660 million stage 5A expansion started in late February.

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