Potential jobs boost from local power station upgrades

Stock image. Night time image Loy Yang of Power Station in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria. Monday, July 15. 2014. (AAP Image/David Crosling) NO ARCHIVING
Stock image. Night time image Loy Yang of Power Station in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria. Monday, July 15. 2014. (AAP Image/David Crosling) NO ARCHIVING DAVID CROSLING

A SURGE in economic activity could be in store if recommendations in a report released yesterday to rebuild and convert CQ power stations to incorporate new technology are adopted.

The report released by the Mineral Council of Australia (MCA) suggested upgrading the Stanwell and Callide power stations and replacing the aging Gladstone power station to employ High Efficiency Low Emissions (HELE) technology.

A number of CQ Coalition politicians have thrown their support behind the report including Senator Matthew Canavan, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd with State Member for RockhamptonBill Byrne saying the technology is not part of the Queensland Government's vision for a renewable energy driven future.

According to the report, electricity sourced from HELE plant was the cheapest option for providing 24/7 base load power that could meet Australia's energy needs and 2030 emissions reduction targets as it made the gradual transition to renewable energy over the coming decades.

MORE | News

>> UPDATE: Auckland St reopened after suspicious device detonated

>> Search for missing man put on hold, but not forgotten

Costing an estimated $2.2 billion to build a 1000MW power plant, the report claims the use of HELE technology could reduce carbon emissions by up to 50%.

The HELE technology works by increasing the amount of energy that can be extracted from a unit of coal, consequently increasing efficiency.

The MCA forecast emissions could be reduced by up to 90% if HELE was combined with carbon capture and storage technology.

Japan, who has ratified the Paris Climate Agreement and committed to a 26% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, is pushing ahead with construction of 45 HELE power-plants.

This is good news for our coal exporters with Japan importing $15.5b of Australian coal in 2014 - Australia's exports number one coal consuming country according to Harvard's Atlas of Economic Complexity.

Australian Resources Minister, Mr Canavan, welcomed the Minerals Council proposal to upgrade coal-fired power stations in CQ.

"Other countries in our region are making use of high-efficiency low-emissions coal-fired power to support jobs in their economies," Mr Canavan said.

"Often they use the coal Australia exports to run those coal-fired power stations.

"It makes no sense for us to export the coal that creates jobs, but rule out using it here in Australia."

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, who has been driving a push for HELE coal-fired power for months, is pleased the debate is moving into the public arena.

You may also be interested in:

SES search South Gladstone street for alleged murder weapon

VIDEO: Car flips in Bruce Hwy crash

Every bloke's little bit of heaven: Prices to go under hammer

"Countries like Germany and Denmark who have strong emission reduction agendas have embraced this technology," Ms Landry said.

"I have pushed for investment in this technology because it's a no-brainer; it reduces emissions by up to 48% with the technology constantly improving, it captures and stores carbon and most importantly, it is the most cost effective way to produce power.

"It is the most practical way to combat spiralling electricity prices while achieving CO2 reduction targets. The continued development of this technology is proof that the investors in coal today will be the innovators of clean energy in the future."

Given we have the coal in CQ and a proven track record in electricity generation, Ms Landry said we could create more jobs for the region while saving the rest of the state from crippling power costs.

Mr O'Dowd said he wholeheartedly supported the ongoing progression of the coal industry in CQ.

"I have visited high-efficiency coal-fired power stations in Japan and have for some time promoted the idea of adopting ultra super-critical technologies here in Central Queensland," he said.

"The life expectancy of the Gladstone power station may soon provide opportunity for renewal and I have been forthright in my support for a new, efficient, coal-fired power station in the port city.

"We have the coal, we have the salt water, we have the network, we have the opportunity."

Mr Byrne said we shouldn't compare Japan's circumstances with our own given they were transitioning away from nuclear energy in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

"Japanese change circumstance, transitional piece, not relevant to us, particular exposure. Grave concerns about viability, can't compare with Japan."

He said one the proposed Japanese systems had only a relatively mild reduction in emissions.

Mr Byrne acknowledged that although coal would continue to figure in the state's energy mix into the future, the Queensland government had a coherent strategy in place to reach a 50% renewable energy target by 2030 to reduce emissions.

"We've got the the best power system in Australia. The age of our generators and the capacity of them are the best placed in the entire country," Mr Byrne said.

"We are well positioned to manage a transitional change to greater emphasis on renewables."

"Clearly, a great part of the future is about renewables, it's not about coal fired power stations."

Topics:  bill byrne callide power station coal power plant electricity gladstone power station japan jobs ken o'dowd matthew canavan michelle landry mp renewable energy stanwell power station

CHARITY THIEVES: Donated items stolen from local garage sale

DISAPPOINTED: Robyn Moody president of Blue Care Auxiliary with some of the items for sale at their regular garage sales.

Thieves stoop to stealing from charity.

'Not holding my breath': Local not assured by mobile news

Generic picture of mobile phone tower. 4G tower, mobile black spots on October 7.

Optus is building a new mobile site at Boyne.

Charming west Gladstone Queenslander with local history for sale

BEAUTIFUL: This unique Queenslander at 44 Charles St is for sale in Gladstone.

IF YOU want to invest in local history, this house is for you.

Local Partners

SQUAD GOALDS: Under 13s dominate their netball division

Gladstone's under-13 netball team have returned from the recent State Age Championship as Division 5 winners.

Your Chance to Win

A Holiday to Kingfisher Bay!
Learn More

Working class? Man, Gympie's got the show for you

Jimmy Barnes

Aussie rock icons coming to Gympie for 150th celebrations.

Tables turn as rescue crew takes on gruelling mountain

EPIC CHALLENGE: Hundreds of runners will tackle the 4.2km run from the heart of Pomona to the top of Mt Cooroora and back on Sunday.

They are usually the people coming to the rescue of adventurers

VIDEO: Girls can feel safe at Splendour

Punters at Splendour in the Grass 2016 at Byron Bay.

High visibility police will be among the crowd at all times

OJ Simpson loses cool as he begs to go free

OJ SIMPSON has been allowed to go free from jail, despite his parole hearing turning tense when he took exception to a line of questioning.

Lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, dies age 41

Coroner spokesman Brian Elias says they are investigating Bennington's death as an apparent suicide but no additional details are available.

Chester Bennington's body was found in LA at 9am local time.

Chester Bennington’s tragic Chris Cornell connection

Bennington sings at Chris Cornell’s funeral on May 26 in Los Angeles. Picture: AP

Bennington reportedly godfather of one of Cornell’s three children

Holy schnit: This steak's the size of a small child

WHAT A STEAK: Sarah Atkins was amazed to see the Pinnacle Pub crumbed steak was bigger than one of her four-month-old twin daughters, Jorja.

It's not every day you get served a steak as big as a baby

Tamara's bittersweet MasterChef exit (take two)

Mackay's Tamara Graffen has already gained valuable work experience since her elimination from MasterChef.

MACKAY cook's heartwarming send-off from finals week.

Why Sleeping Duck turned down a $500,000 offer on Shark Tank

Sleeping Duck founders Selvam Sinnappan, left, and Winston Wijeyeratne.Source:Supplied

Melbourne university mates turn down hug Shark Tank ffer

Lisa Wilkinson portrait wins Packer Room Prize

A portrait of Lisa Wilkinson by artist Peter Smeeth has taken out this year's Packer Room Prize.

"The winning of this award is 99 per cent due to Lisa."

Alex beach or bluff at your front door

ALEX LIVING: 9/252 Alexandra Pde, Alexandra Headland.

Beachfront unit among the picks of this week's auction line-up

Open for inspection homes 20 - 26 July

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Sunshine Coast shopping centre on the market

Coles-anchored centre in high-growth area listed for sale

Island resort living from just $250 a week

Couran Cove on Stradbroke Island is undergoing a makeover. Photo: Steve Holland

Resort offering permanent rentals at almost half normal rental price