NRG's contract with Boyne Smelter needs overhaul: power boss

WHILE politicians and experts weigh in on Australia's "energy crisis", CS Energy wants to put Gladstone's Power Station under a microscope.

The Queensland electricity generator's non-executive chairman Jim Soorley said he wanted to explore ways the NRG Gladstone Power Station could improve its supply.

>>The Courier Mail takes aim at Gladstone Power Station over job cuts

CS Energy, the owners of the Callide Power Station, says Gladstone's Power Station needed simpler contract agreements and a smaller carbon footprint.

"I've offered to work with the Gladstone Power Station over the next six months to see if we can get a better outcome in terms of their overall supply," Mr Soorley said.

NEW PLANT? Gladstone's industry desperately needs another one soon, according to one industry leader.
NEW PLANT? Gladstone's industry desperately needs another one soon, according to one industry leader. Mary Bolling

His ideas were prompted after ongoing, but failed negotiations, with BSL to secure an electricity deal for 15% of its load.

The comments were made the same day a discussion paper into the energy grid was launched and politicians questioned who's to blame for soaring power prices.

Queensland's wholesale power prices have risen to an average of $96 a megawatt hour this year.

It's second to South Australia's $104MWh.

The Gladstone Power Station would not comment on changes to contracts or upgrades to the power station, which was built in 1994.

"The contractual arrangements entered into in 1994 involving GPS, BSL and the state are confidential in nature and as such any discussions between the parties will be conducted on this basis," acting general manager Nigel Warrington said.

But Mr Soorley says the contract needs to be laid out on the table, torn apart and renegotiated.

Queensland economist Professor John Quiggin says a publicly owned national electricity grid is the solution to Australia's energy crisis.

His Grid Renationalisation - A Discussion Paper, documents that electricity reform in Australia has been a comprehensive failure since the creation of the National Electricity Market in the 1990s.

"We're past the point of tinkering; energy instability is compromising our growth and economic progress," Prof Quiggin said.



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