Media Releases | 4th Aug, 2010

New coal power station decision to test Brumby’s climate credentials

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Environment Victoria today called on the State Government to reject plans by HRL Dual Gas Pty Ltd to build a new coal-fired power station in Victoria.

The Victorian EPA has released the company’s application for a Works Approval to build the new power station near Morwell for public comment today. The community now has 21 days to make submissions on the application.

If the EPA grants the Works Approval the project will need no further State Government approvals before proceeding.

Environment Victoria’s Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham said today:

“Last week we had the Premier and four State Ministers releasing a strong Climate Change White Paper with a target to reduce the state’s greenhouse pollution by 20% by 2020. We also had the Premier talking about the need to replace polluting coal-fired power stations like Hazelwood.”

“This week we’ve got the State Government considering approving a new polluting coal-fired power station, and there won’t be a single Minister involved in the decision.”

“In its works approval application the company admits that the power station would increase the state’s greenhouse emissions by up to 4 million tonnes per year. Yet as the Premier said last week the 20% target requires that we reduce emissions by 30 million tonnes by 2020.”

“It will be impossible to meet Premier Brumby’s target if we build new coal-fired power stations. The emissions reductions from Premier Brumby’s proposal to close one quarter of Hazelwood could be completely cancelled out by this new coal-fired power station.”

Mr Wakeham said that despite the company’s claims there was nothing clean about the new power station and that it failed to meet the standard set by the Premier last week for new power stations.

“Last week Premier Brumby also announced that no new power stations would be approved unless they produced less than 0.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per megawatt hour.”

“In its works approval HRL Dual Gas fails to provide an emissions intensity standard, instead saying that the power station would operate at a range between 0.78 and 0.89 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This is significantly above the new standard set by the State Government, so on this basis alone the project should be rejected by the EPA and the State Government.”

Mr Wakeham concluded:

“HRL has been making bold claims about this project since 2005, but none of them have proven to be true. For instance in their November 2006 media release they claimed construction would begin in 2007 and the power station “would become operational in 2009”. It was on the basis of these claims that the State and Federal Government provided the company with $150 million of funds to prove the technology. The State Government should have learnt its lesson that this company cannot be trusted. Make no mistake, this is a polluting power station that should not be approved.”


For interview contact:

Mark Wakeham, EV Campaigns Director 0439 700 501

Media assistance:

Louise Matthiesson 0417 017 844