Bluewaters power station

From SourceWatch
(Redirected from Bluewaters Power Station)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

{{#badges: CoalSwarm|Navbar-Australiacoal}}Bluewaters power station is a 466-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Western Australia, Australia.

Location

The map below shows the location of the plant, near Collie, Western Australia.

Loading map...

Background on Plant

Bluewaters Power Station is a 2 x 233-megawatt (MW) coal plant located 4.5 kilometres north east of Collie, Western Australia.[1]

Griffin Energy's proposals for two subcritical coal-fired power station were approved by the Western Australian government in 2004 and 2005.[2][3] In December 2005 the company announced that Mitsui would begin construction of the $400 million Unit 1 in early 2006 with a completion date set for 2008.[4] The station was planned on the basis of using coal from Griffin’s new Ewington I mine[5]

The plant was initially scheduled to be commissioned in late 2008.[6] Construction of Unit 2 began in 2007 with the commissioning date pushed back to 2009.[7] Both units were commissioned in 2009.

The administrators of the Griffin Group, KordaMentha report that 93% of the power from the plant is sold "under 3 complex PPAs [Power Purchase Agreements] (and the remainder sold on market)."[8]

Ownership upheavals

The plant was initially built by Griffin Energy. However, following the financial collapse of the Griffin Group in January 2010 after failing to meet a payment on its $700 million of debts,[9][10] the administrators sold the power generation assets of Griffin Energy off.

In January 2011 it was announced that Kansai Electric Power (KEPCO) and Sumitomo Corporation had agreed to buy the power station for approximately $1.1 billion and that the deal was expected to be finalised within two months.[11]

However, the deal was delayed by complex negotiations with Lanco, which insisted on renegotiating the coal supply contracts for the power station which they argued -- after buying the mines -- that the contracted coal price was too low. Renegotiating the coal price required the administrators to renegotiate the power purchase agreements before Kansai Electric Power and Sumitomo Corporation would agree to complete the deal. By January 2012 the administrators were estimating the sale could be completed by March.[12]

However, the sale wasn't completed until mid-February 2013. Sumitomo announced that the consortium formed between it and Kansai Electric Power would "jointly manage the acquired electricity business". Sumitomo announced that its share of the project would be managed through its Sydney-headquartered wholly owned subsidiary Summit Southern Cross Power Holdings Pty Ltd. Sumitomo, which had bought a stake in the 320 MW Kwinana gas fired plant in 2009, signalled that "aims to further expand its power project business in the Australian market."[13]

Background on Bluewaters Power Station Expansion Project

Griffin Energy proposed to add a further two 230 MW coal-fired generating units with a proposed commissioning date of 2012 and 2014 at the same location.[14] The company stated that it "will also ensure the Bluewaters Power Station Expansion project will be capable of adopting carbon capture technology in the future, once this developing technology becomes commercially viable in Western Australia."[15]

Bluewaters Power states on its website that the two additional units would be 208 MW each and "are planned for completion in 2015" and that it "will be capable of adopting carbon capture technology in the future, once this developing technology becomes commercially viable in Western Australia."[16]

However, the EPA were scathing in their 2010 assessment of the proposed plants carbon capture and storage element. While noting that the proposed plant would emit 3.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions a year, the EPA wrote:[17]

"Although the proponent intends to make sufficient space available on land immediately adjacent to each of the new generation plants to accommodate carbon capture related plant and equipment, it has not clearly indicated where this area of land is located within the proposed plant layout. Nor has the proponent confirmed that this area of land will be safeguarded against the construction of non-carbon capture related plant and equipment within it in the future."
"The Lower Lesueur Formation and the Gage Sandstone geological formations have been identified by the proponent as potential geosequestration sites for the proposal. However, the proponent has not confirmed that these sites could accommodate the CO2 emissions from the Bluewaters Power Station Phase III and Phase IV generating plants over the anticipated life of the proposal. Considerable additional work needs to be undertaken to determine the viability of the Lower Lesueur Formation as a suitable geosequestration site. No detailed information was provided by the proponent in regard to the geosequestration potential of the Gage Sandstone formation. The proponent has not provided any information regarding the identification of potential transport routes to the above sites."
"As a result, the EPA does not consider that the proponent has demonstrated that the project meets the IEA definition of CCS ready. Additionally, the likelihood that CCS will become technically and commercially viable is the near future is uncertain, and relying on CCS to constrain carbon emissions for this proposal in the future represents considerable risk."

In March 2015 the EPA issued a new review of the project and found that "the environmental factors of the proposal have not changed significantly" since the 2010 proposal, but recommended that the time limit of authorization of the expansion be extended by five years, to September 2020.[18]

In December 2018, the owners of Bluewaters power station were reported to be looking for a $500 million dollar investment to replace existing facilities.[19]

Approval

In March 2010 the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority recommended to the Minister for the Environment that the Bluewaters Power Station Expansion Project be approved subject to a range conditions.[20]

In July 2010 the Western Australian Minister for the Environment, Donna Faragher, approved the expansion of the project subject to requiring the power station "to achieve continuous improvement in net greenhouse gas emissions through the adoption of advances in technology and process management. This includes consideration of carbon capture and storage and the use of new technologies to improve the efficiency of the generator units."[21]

While the project has been approved, in June 2014 the Independent Market Operator - which assesses the adequacy of generation capacity to meet forecast electricity load -- stated that "no new capacity will be required in the SWIS until 2023-24" on its expected forecast.[22]

Timeline

  • March 2010: Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority recommends the Minister for the Environment approve the expansion subject to conditions;[20]
  • July 2010: Western Australian Minister for the Environment, Donna Faragher, approved the expansion;[21]
  • June 2014: Independent Market Operator states that "no new capacity will be required in the SWIS until 2023-24" on its expected forecast.[22]

Plant Details (for Units 1 & 2)

  • Sponsor: Summit Southern Cross Power
  • Parent company: Kansai Electric Power (KEPCO) and Sumitomo Corporation
  • Location: Collie, Western Australia, Australia
  • Coordinates: -33.3321861, 116.2280227 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Gross capacity: 466 MW (Units 1 & 2: 233 MW)
  • Type: Subcritical
  • In service: 2009
  • Coal type:
  • Coal source:
  • Source of financing:

Project Details (for Expansion)

  • Sponsor: Griffin Energy
  • Parent company: Kansai Electric Power (KEPCO) and Sumitomo Corporation
  • Location: Collie, Western Australia.
  • Coordinates:-33.3321861, 116.2280227 (exact)
  • Status: Shelved
  • Gross Capacity: Initially 460 MW; later 416 MW
  • Type:
  • Projected in service: Originally 2012 for the first unit and 2014 for the second unit[15]
  • Coal Type: Black
  • Coal Source: Griffin Coal's Ewington mine
  • Source of financing:

Articles and Resources

References

  1. "Bluewaters Power Station", BlueWaters Power, BlueWaters Power website, accessed June 2014.
  2. Collie Coal, "Bluewaters decision helps secure State's energy needs", Media Release, May 30, 2005.
  3. Griffin Energy, "Our History", Griffin Energy website, accessed August 2008.
  4. "WA set for new $400m power station", ABC News, December 17, 2005.
  5. Collie Coal, "Future Generation", Collie Coal website, accessed 2008.
  6. Office of Energy, Government of Western Australia, "Wholesale Electricity Market", Office of Energy website, accessed August 2008.
  7. Office of Energy, Government of Western Australia, "Wholesale Electricity Market", Office of Energy website, accessed August 2008.
  8. KordaMentha, "Griffin Energy Group - Griffin Power", KordaMetha website, accessed June 2014.
  9. "Debt-laden Griffin Coal put into administration", Sydney Morning Herald, January 4, 2010.
  10. Colin Kruger, "Cash crunch, rising costs pushed Griffin Coal over the edge", Sydney Morning Herald, September 21, 2010.
  11. Andrew Burrell, "Japanese energy giants in $1.1bn Griffin power buy", The Australian, April 09, 2011.
  12. Stephen Bell, "Sale of Griffin's Bluewater power stations finalised by late March", The Australian, January 19, 2012.
  13. Sumitomo Corporation, "Participating in Power Business in Australia", Sumitomo Corporation website, accessed June 2014.
  14. "Our History", Bluewaters Power website, accessed June 2014.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Griffin Energy, "Bluewaters Power Station Expansion", Griffin Energy, website, accessed August 2008.
  16. Bluewaters Power, "Bluewaters Power Station Expansion Project", Bluewaters Power website, accessed June 2014.
  17. Environmental Protection Agency, "Bluewaters Power Station Expansion - Phase III and Phase IV, Collie", Environmental Protection Agency, March 2010, page 6.
  18. "Bluewaters Power Station Expansion - Phase III and Phase IV Proposal - inquiry under s46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 to amend Ministerial Statement 837," EPA, March 23, 2015
  19. Sarah Thompson and Anthony Macdonald, "WA-power producer Bluewaters fronts banks for new loans" Financial Review, December 6, 2018
  20. 20.0 20.1 Environmental Protection Authority, "Bluewaters Power Station Expansion - Phase III and Phase IV, Collie", Environmental Protection Authority, March 2010.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Minister for the Environment, Donna Faragher, "Minister determines environmental appeals on power stations", Media Release, July 11, 2010.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Independent Market Operator, "SWIS Electricity Demand Outlook – June 2014", Independent Market Operator, June 2014, page 3.

Related SourceWatch Articles

External resources