Energy Minister Mark Bailey at Swanbank today.
Energy Minister Mark Bailey at Swanbank today.

New jobs at Swanbank with power station revival

UPDATE: The State Governement's decision to fire up a mothballed Ipswich power station will create at least 15 jobs and reduce our quarterly electricity bill nightmare.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt and Energy Minister Mark Bailey announced the State Government would restart Stanwell Corporation's 385 megawatt Swanbank E gas-fired power station early next year, bringing it online to increase supply and reduce volatility in the Queensland wholesale market.

The plant has been in cold storage since 2014, with the gas entitlements sold off.

Mr Bailey said increased summer power usage in Queensland and industry uncertainty meant wholesale electricity prices were going up.

"We can't control the weather but we can take action now to bring the state-owned Swanbank E gas-fired power station back online in time for the summer months," he said.

"Because of our commitment to public ownership we've been able to take decisive action in the best interest of Queenslanders to put downward pressure on wholesale prices and ensure a secure electricity supply, even when demand is at its highest."

A Stanwell spokesperson said 15 additional jobs would be created by bringing Swanbank E back online.

"These roles will mainly be involved in operating and maintaining the power station when it is operational," she said.

"Stanwell is currently working to understand the exact workforce profile required and will advertise positions in due course.

"It is likely advertisements will be released in the coming months."

A detailed inspection of the plant, including gas and steam turbines, will need to be carried out before the station operates again.

Stanwell will also reinstate some critical systems, and ensure security of fuel and water supply.

"We will work with the original equipment manufacturer to source any replacement parts, which will need to be imported from Europe.

"This will obviously involve long lead times," the Stanwell spokesperson said.

Mr Bailey said the announcement was one of a raft of measures announced last week by the State Government to help stabilise electricity prices and boost supply.

"On Wednesday, we announced the government would invest $770 million to remove the costs of the Solar Bonus Scheme from network charges for the next three years after the independent Queensland Competition Authority released its final determination on regulated retail electricity prices for regional Queensland," he said.

"This intervention will slash the Queensland Competition Authority's original price increase in half, delivering a saving of around $51 for households and $90 for small business."

 

Swanbank station revival will cut your power bill: Govt

EARLIER: Treasuer Curtis Pitt and Energy Minister Mark Bailey recently announced the Palaszczuk Government will restart Stanwell Corporation's 385 megawatt (MW) Swanbank E gas-fired power station - bringing it online to increase supply and reduce volatility in the Queensland wholesale market.

Mr Pitt said that in the height of the LNP's asset sales frenzy in 2014, Stanwell placed the Swanbank E Power Station into cold storage and sold the associated gas entitlements in readiness for a sell off to the private sector.

"It is expected that the potential impacts of bringing this additional capacity online in the first quarter of 2018 is likely to reduce the price volatility in the electricity market during this period," he said.

Mr Bailey, who visited Swanbank E, said firing it up again was necessary after the extreme record heat waves and a lack of federal energy certainty under the Turnbull government that has undermined industry investment and placed upward pressure on wholesale electricity prices.

"We can't control the weather but we can take action now to bring the state-owned Swanbank E gas-fired power station back online in time for the summer months," he said.

"Because of our commitment to public ownership we've been able to take decisive action in the best interest of Queenslanders to put downward pressure on wholesale prices and ensure a secure electricity supply - even when demand is at its highest."

Mr Bailey said the announcement is one of a raft of measures announced last week by the State Government to help stabilise electricity prices and boost supply.

"On Wednesday, we announced the government would invest $770 million to remove the costs of the Solar Bonus Scheme from network charges for the next three years after the independent Queensland Competition Authority released its final determination on regulated retail electricity prices for regional Queensland," he said.

"This intervention will slash the QCA's original price increase in half, delivering a saving of around $51 for households and $90 for small business."



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