Friday, 6 July 2012

NSW Government closes forty-five year old, inefficient power station which has been surplus to requirements for last 12 months - media wildly blames introduction of carbon price

Apparently desperate for a bad news story to match the 1 July 2012 introduction of the national carbon price scheme, the mainstream media decided that this media release from NSW Government trading enterprise, Delta Electricity, met its needs - despite all evidence to the contrary.

Media Statement
3 July 2012

Delta Electricity announced today the closure of Munmorah Power Station after 45 years of operation. The station has been maintained on standby but has not been in production since August 2010.
Decreasing energy demand in NSW has created an excess supply situation. Munmorah’s place in the market has been overtaken by newer and more efficient generators and alternative electricity sources.
The station’s ageing infrastructure and high maintenance costs mean that it is not economically viable to operate. The carbon tax further erodes its viability.
Greg Everett, Delta’s Chief Executive, said that “As a part of the decommissioning of the station, the Delta Electricity Central Coast business will reduce in size.
“Approximately 100 positions were deployed at Munmorah when it was in service and since that time have been reassigned to work at Vales Point.
“The process of decommissioning will require staff activity at Munmorah over the coming weeks and we will consult with staff and unions on the structure of the business for the longer term”.
The decommissioning of Munmorah Power Station will involve the shutdown of all non-safety and non-essential service systems at the station, removal of fuel and chemicals and securing of buildings.
Koala Park, Extreme Park and Camp Breakaway are unaffected by the decision and will continue to be available for community use.
Munmorah Power Station has development consent for rehabilitation as either a coal or gas fired generator but this would require substantial new capital investment by a future owner.

Julia Harvey
Delta Electricity
Corporate Relations Manager

Munmorah was constructed when the Central Coast was a series of coastal and seaside villages. 110km north of Sydney and just south of Newcastle it is located on the coastal strip between the Tuggerah Lakes. Its location was chosen because of its proximity to supplies of coal on the Central Coast and the Hunter.
Four English Electric 350MW generators were constructed with a capacity of 1400MW. One unit was completed in 1967, another in 1968 and the remaining two in 1969.
The power station continued to operate as a four unit plant into the early 1990s when Units 1 and 2 were taken out of service and decommissioned. Units 3 and 4 operated efficiently during the last 22 years, setting records for reliability. Munmorah Unit 4 was last operated in March 2009 with Unit 3 continuing to operate for the pilot carbon capture plant until August 2010.

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