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Power Station rejects 2020-21 closure warning

The Gladstone Power Station generates about 12% of coal-fired power in Queensland.
The Gladstone Power Station generates about 12% of coal-fired power in Queensland. Mike Richards GLA100215NITE

THE Gladstone Power Station has rejected new reports a third of its units will close by 2021, saying it will generate even more power next year.

The latest warning came from the Australian Institute of Progress's research into Annastacia Palaszczuk's 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.

In his findings, researcher economist and former LNP federal candidate Jonathon Pavetto, warned two of the six units at Gladstone Power Station would close in 2020-21 and another in 2028-29.

Nigel Warrington acting general manager at Gladstone Power Station - the state's largest - hit back at the report's findings.

"There are absolutely no plans to shut any units down in the foreseeable future and in fact we will be generating more electricity next year," he said.

"GPS has power agreements in place until 2029 at least, and we are continuing to invest in the life of the station."

The 1680 megawatt station's main deal is with the Rio Tinto-owned Boyne Smelter Limited, where it provides 810 megawatts each year at a price guaranteed until 2029.

The NRG and Rio Tinto joint venture power station recently had a $15 million maintenance upgrade to unit five, and similar work on units one and four are due early next year.

The latest report into the impact of forcing renewable energy into Queensland's electricity grid also warned similar closures at the Stanwell and Tarong power stations, saying it would cause job losses and broader community implications.

"Closing down the Tarong and Stanwell power stations, as well as three of Gladstone's six generation units will cause job losses in Kingaroy, Rockhampton and Gladstone - all areas with unemployment rates already above the state average," AIP said.

"(Progressive closures) will increase costs for large business and industrial customers in North and Central Queensland, due to increased transmission losses.

"Such increases in energy costs would lead to wide-scale industrial exit."

The Institute also said Queensland would be at an increased risk of state-wide blackouts and the State Government risked losing dividends from its energy companies if coal-fired power stations closed.

In response to the report Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey said coal and gas generators would "continue to play a significant role in Queensland to 2030".

Gladstone Power Station accounts for 12 per cent of all black-coal power generated in Queensland.

Topics:  coal-fired power station gladstoneindustry gladstone power station renewable energy target



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