'Major concern': Gladstone industry needs new coal power plant
AN industry leader is making renewed calls in Gladstone today for clean coal fired power stations in north Queensland to combat rising electricity prices.
Speaking in Gladstone today, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said a high efficiency and low emission coal fired power station was critical for Gladstone industries.
Mr Macfarlane is the lead speaker at the Gladstone Engineering Alliance Industry Update Breakfast, speaking on the 2017 outlook for resources.
"Gladstone has a strong manufacturing and industrial base with two alumina refineries and affordable and reliable energy is critical in keeping these trade-exposed industries globally competitive," Mr Macfarlane said ahead of the event.
"A recent QRC survey of resources chief executives found the state government's decision to set the 50 per cent renewables target by 2030 is a major concern to the sector.
"The survey also found that increases in electricity prices were making it hard to do business in Queensland.
"It needs to be a less ideological argument about where we get our energy from and a more practical discussion about how we provide both reliable and cheaper electricity and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"Gladstone is home to Queensland's largest coal-fired power plants but more, cleaner baseload supply is needed in the NEM (National Electricity Market) grid, particularly in North Queensland, if we are manage more renewables and to prevent wholesale electricity spikes on days of high east coast demand."
Mr Macfarlane said Gladstone's LNG exports had more than tripled with all three LNG operations online for the first time over the calendar year.
"LNG exports out of Queensland reached a new record at 17.5 million tonnes and were exported to 14 countries across the world despite green activists claiming fossil fuels are in decline," he said.
"This has been an enormous boost to the Queensland economy, providing vital export income and jobs for Queenslanders."
The LNG sector is forecast to continue its record export growth that is being driven by China and Europe. The latest report by the Office of the Chief Economist estimates China's LNG imports to have increased by 28 per cent in 2016 and Europe is forecast to increase by 21 per cent a year until 2018.
As we know from our current economic data, in 2015-16, Queensland's gas industry contributed $12.8 billion to the state's economy and supported more than 65,000 employees.