Business

Solar and gas a threat to Gladstone's power station

GLADSTONE's power station has a fight on its hands to stay relevant and competitive.

With demand for electricity dropping, an increase in the uptake of solar and new options for gas, the "sluggish, coal driven power station" has major challenges to ensure employees can keep their jobs.

In the past two years the power station has decreased its staff through natural attrition - with "organisational changes" meaning numbers could drop to as low as 245 people on site. That is 100 people less than in 2013.

According to general manager John Abbott, the power station does have options to run for another 30 years.

But to do that, his company needs to remain competitive in the marketplace.

He said over the past five years the demand for electricity had fallen "far short" of what predictions had been.

"The current demand in the market is very unpredictable and some of the things we've seen this year certainly don't match anything we were expecting last year," he said.

Mr Abbott said the new State Government manifesto showed it was looking for another 2000-3000 megawatts of solar power into the grid over the next five years.

"When they're generating rooftop solar it doesn't cost the individuals money, so it affects demand," he said.

"But it goes on and off when the sun comes up and down, and that's hard for a coal-fired power station to manage."

"Whatever prediction we make (about the market and power prices) will be wrong, which makes planning difficult for us."

Mr Abbott was talking about the company's position in the Gladstone supply chain to the Gladstone Engineering Alliance Panel of Procurement last week.

It was a bleak message for those wanting to tender.

"We have a challenge to minimise our cost base because no matter what the market faces us, the lower our cost base the better we're able to play in that market," Mr Abbott said.

"We look for competition in the national market for our supplies."

He said while buying local did provide advantages to his company, there were also considerable cost savings to be made looking out of town.

"If I use 20 as the lowest base cost quoted locally I was able to get that work done for 5 including materials out of Brisbane," he said.

"That is the challenge you, as local players, have for our business."

Topics:  electricity prices, gladstone, power station, solar power



The families funding Hummock Hill

UPMARKET: The families built a shopping complex in Sydney's upmarket Double Bay.

Two wealthy Sydney families behind $950 million resort

Nine males, one female; divers watch turtles get frisky

Mating season ends this month.

One female, nine males, this is all part of nature for turtles

Firefighters battle Bruce Hwy blaze

BLAZE ON THE BRUCE: Firefighters are battling a blaze along the Bruce Hwy.

Smoke covers Bruce Highway

Local Partners

Why The Wrong Girl is right for Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais and Ian Meadows in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

ACTOR makes the sometimes awkward character her own in new comedy.

What's on the small screen this week

Jessica Marais in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

A NEW romantic comedy debuts while footy codes ramp up for finals.

Airbourne talk drop bears, beer and taxes

Airbourne have a new album coming out and a new tour on the way.  Photo Contributed

Airbourne release album for the aussie battler

Pippa Middleton had 3000 private photos stolen

Author Pippa Middleton

Author's account hacked to access 3000 private photos

Gruen star discovers the body's limits in new hit TV show

Todd Sampson tries out MMA fighting during TV series BodyHack.

Gruen star pushes the limits in new TV series

Deftones return to Australia with string of dates

Deftones are back in town. Photo Contributed

World renowned nu-metal pioneers return

'Flex muscles': Gladstone suburb drops $120K

BUYERS are scooping unprecedented deals by “flexing their muscles at the table”

Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

The Gladstone Regional Council wants associated LNG companies like Bechtel to be apart of the EIS housing accommodation strategy from the outset of the projects and not mid-way through.

Tannum Sands continues to write its own property success story

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Market opens as Gladstone sellers drop prices to force sale

VENDORS are dropping the price on houses to force a sale.

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual