Feb 08, 2020

Federal backing for new coal-fired power plant

Federal backing for new coal-fired power plant

The Federal Government has pledged up to $4 million to support Shine Energy’s proposal to build a 1GW coal-fired power plant at Collinsville.

It is one of two projects earmarked for grants under the $10 million Supporting Reliable Energy Infrastructure program.

The focus is on providing affordable and reliable energy for commercial and industrial customers, specifically for high energy-using and trade-exposed industries in Central and North Queensland.

Up to $2 million will go towards a prefeasibility study on Renewable Energy Partners’ proposed 1.5 gigawatt pumped hydro-electric plant, to be developed in conjunction with the proposed Urannah Water Scheme in Central Queensland.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the commitments would help secure long-term energy supplies, which were crucial to economic development and Queensland jobs.

“This investment is laying the platform to help ensure that reliable, cheap electricity is available when it is needed, and will help drive down prices for businesses and their customers across Queensland and Australia,” Minister Pitt said.

“We are delivering on our election commitments and investing in the future with up to $4 million to investigate the feasibility of a high efficiency, low emissions (HELE) coal plant at Collinsville.”

Commenting on social media, Queensland Senator and former Minister Matt Canavan said the grant was good first step and it would be great to see the station built.

“Why should we send all our fantastic coal overseas and not use some of it to help bring down Australian electricity prices? Let’s keep our jobs here!” he wrote.

The Government will also allocate up to $1.5 million to work with the Queensland Government and industry on electrifying Curtis Island LNG facilities.

Partial electrification could free up to 12 petajoules of natural gas for use in the domestic market which will reduce emissions and lower gas prices.

Today’s announcement builds on Government action already underway in regional Queensland to bring down prices and improve reliability, including: 

  • A $990,150 grant towards a feasibility study for a microgrid in the Daintree region under the Government’s Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund (Microgrids Fund).
  • A $5.17 million grant to support feasibility work for the proposed CopperString 2.0 transmission line, connecting Mount Isa to the National Electricity Market.
  • Up to $610 million conditionally approved loan for the development of the Genex’ Kidston Pumped Hydro Project under the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
  • Up to $3 million in grants by ARENA for two hydrogen feasibility studies in Queensland to Nitrates and Dyno Nobel.
  • A total of $2 million in funding from ARENA for a demonstration of thermal energy storage in Queensland to Glaciem Cooling Technologies.