Swanbank E Power Station fires up again

Published Sunday, 04 June, 2017 at 01:30 PM


Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Curtis Pitt

Treasurer Curtis Pitt and Energy Minister Mark Bailey today announced the Palaszczuk Government will restart Stanwell Corporation’s 385 megawatt (MW) Swanbank E gas-fired power station – bringing it online to increase supply and reduce volatility in the Queensland wholesale market.

Mr Pitt said that in the height of the LNP’s asset sales frenzy in 2014, Stanwell placed the Swanbank E Power Station into cold storage and sold the associated gas entitlements in readiness for a sell off to the private sector.

“In contrast, the Palaszczuk Government is responding to failures in the National Energy Market and the associated higher electricity prices by bringing an additional 385 MW capacity into the market,” he said.

“It is expected that the potential impacts of bringing this additional capacity online in the first quarter of 2018 is likely to reduce the price volatility in the electricity market during this period.”

Mr Bailey who visited Swanbank E today said firing it up again was necessary after the extreme record heat waves and a lack of federal energy certainty under the Turnbull government that has undermined industry investment and placed upward pressure on wholesale electricity prices.

“We can’t control the weather but we can take action now to bring the state-owned Swanbank E gas-fired power station back online in time for the summer months,” he said.

 “Our ability to take this action is a result of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to retain Stanwell as a state-owned asset. This action wouldn't be possible under the LNP who wanted to sell of our assets.

“Because of our commitment to public ownership we’ve been able to take decisive action in the best interest of Queenslanders to put downward pressure on wholesale prices and ensure a secure electricity supply - even when demand is at its highest.”

Mr Bailey said today’s announcement is one of a raft of measures announced this week by the Palaszczuk Government to help stabilise electricity prices and boost supply.

“On Wednesday, we announced the government would invest $770 million to remove the costs of the Solar Bonus Scheme from network charges for the next three years after the independent Queensland Competition Authority released its final determination on regulated retail electricity prices for regional Queensland.

“This intervention will slash the QCA’s original price increase in half, delivering a saving of around $51 for households and $90 for small business.

“On Friday I was in Townsville with the Premier and we announced our Powering North Queensland Plan, which will see $386 million spent on unlocking the region’s renewable energy resources, securing economic growth and supporting 5000 jobs.”

Mr Bailey said the Powering North Queensland Plan includes developing strategic transmission infrastructure in North and Northwest of Queensland to support a clean energy hub and unlock renewable energy projects and jobs. 

“We will also look at improvement works for the Burdekin Falls Dam and options to develop the proposed Burdekin Hydro power project as well as undertaking a feasibility study to identify potential hydro projects across Queensland,” he said.

“These measures are part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring that consumers in Queensland can continue to access affordable and secure electricity supply.

“The Palaszczuk Government has Queenslander's interests front and centre.

“Affordable and secure energy supply is essential to powering the state’s economy,” he said.

"We will continue to use our public asset ownership to back in consumers"

For more information visit www.dews.qld.gov.au

Media contact:

Treasurer’s Office: 0447 316 432

Minister Bailey’s office – 0428 079 640