Business

Gladstone Power Station could suffer $1.1b blow

Paul Braven

GLADSTONE'S power station is facing a new challenge in the form of the Queensland Government's renewable energy target.

For many, Gladstone Power Station's three stacks signify the reason for bringing their family here for jobs over the past 40 years but the generator may now be under threat from the Annastacia Palaszczuk State Government's 50% renewable energy target.

A draft report commissioned by the Palaszczuk Government, in its bid to have 50% of the state's energy produced renewable technologies by 2030, found the power station would be hit by a $600 million to $1.1 billion cash-flow reduction if the target was reached.

That kind of financial hit would be a further blow for the power station which already runs to about 35% capacity and with a smaller workforce than any time in its history.

"While existing generators are projected to suffer very large reductions in future profits... they are expected to be able to continue to meet their avoidable costs and provide modest returns to capital," the Queensland Renewable Energy Expert Draft Report read.

NRG NEWS |

>>1 in 5 NRG workers to be axed

>>UPDATE: 'Could have killed': NRG workers back on site today

>>The Courier Mail takes aim at Gladstone Power Station

An aerial View of the Gladstone Power Station.
An aerial View of the Gladstone Power Station. Brenda Strong

But an energy expert has said the owners of Queensland's biggest power station, most emissions intensive and oldest, as well as all the others in Queensland, would have to weigh up if the small profits would outweigh the constant infrastructure costs required to run a power station.

Grattan Institute's director of energy Tony Wood said Gladstone Power Station would have to weigh up the economics to invest in upgrades.

He used the Hazelwood Power Station, in Victoria, as an example where there was speculation it would close instead of spending $10-$20 million in repairs when the profits might not be there in 10 years to justify the investment.

POWER PERFORMANCE: The emission intensity of Australia's power stations.
POWER PERFORMANCE: The emission intensity of Australia's power stations.

Gladstone Power Station has faced similar economic decision, it went through an organisational restructuring in March due to "changing business conditions both in electricity market and the resources sector in general" as explained by then general manager John Abbott.

The were job losses and termination of its maintenance contract as terminal overhauls were reduced to match the wear and tear of the station as it ran about 35% capacity because of the current impact of renewable energy.

NRG'S MANAGEMENT WOES | 

There is, however, a silver lining.

If the Gladstone station could outlast other power stations, profits could increase as there would be less suppliers to meet need.

Despite all these pressures, premier Palaszczuk said coal-fired power stations would serve Queenslanders for "many many years to come".

She said the panel which created the report had shown a pathway to deliver the government's target and implored politicians to make a submission for the final report.

Gladstone member Glenn Butcher said his concern was for the workers but said the renewable energy transition wouldn't happen with a click of the finger.

"Renewable energy will continue to grow and there could be opportunities for these workers to be utilised in the renewable energy sector if that work is viable for them," he said. "And we need to remember this is 14 years away.

"The power station is unique, it can ramp up immediately and who knows, it could be bought by industries which come to Gladstone and need their own energy generation."

NRG Gladstone Power Station was contacted for comment.

Topics:  gladstone gladstoneindustry gladstone region renewable energy renewable energy target



5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau on footy, life and that engagement to netball glamour Maria Tutaia.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

Heaven on a stick - check out Queen of Pops.

FOR many of us, food is life.

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

State Cabinet to meet in Rockhampton next week

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

The Premier wants to 'govern from Central Queensland'

FIRST LOOK: Council unveils new $26M cultural precinct

The early concept designs for level one of the relocated Rockhampton Art Gallery and surrounding cultural precinct in Quay St.

Precinct centres on the $16 million relocation of the Art Gallery

Pedestrian hit by car on Cap Coast

Emergency Services, Ambulance, QAS, Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

Emergency services race to Zilzie accident

Local Partners

Toowoomba comedian becomes big hit on The Project

BIG NAME: Toowoomba comedian Damien Power will perform his new show Utopia at the Brisbane Comedy Festival in March.

The Toowoomba comedian is preparing for his most hilarious show yet

Rockhampton girl to shine in Green Day musical

CENTRE STAGE: Rockhampton's Lorinda Merrypor has been cast in the Brisbane season of Green Day's American Idiot musical, which runs at QPAC from February 23.

The Brisbane season of American Idiot will feature a CQ performer

'Allo 'Allo! star Gorden Kaye has died

Gorden Kaye, pictured in Brisbane in 2007, found fame as a cafe owner Rene Artois in the iconic British television series ‘Allo ‘Allo!

ACTOR Gorden Kaye, from BBC comedy ‘Allo ‘Allo!, has died.

Lion roars to straight to No 1 at Aussie box office

Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Sunny Pawar in a scene from the movie Lion.

THE Australian-made movie a hit, while Rogue One nears record mark.

Ozzy Osbourne fell asleep during his driving test

Not a good idea to give Ozzy a Ferrari

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Accusers become accused in tenants from hell story

SPEAKING OUT: Scott Marsen says he doesn't want people to feel sorry for the couple who trashed his home.

Couple whose house was trashed accused of doing the same

SHOALWATER: Protest efforts against land acquisition ramp up

Craig mustering cattle off the marine plain at their Marlborough property about and hour and a half north of Rockhampton

Online petition attracts loads of signatures, rally next week

'We are in no better position' after Payne's announcement - Marlborough committee

Linda Geddes, Leslie Olive, Danii McKenzie and Joanne Rea at the meeting

'Minimum acquisition' not in the best interests of our graziers

Why investors are flocking to Moranbah

Moranbah homes are selling like hotcakes, creating a supply problem

Investors are scrambling to get into the market

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!