AGL will spend more than $200 million to upgrade Bayswater power station at Muswellbrook as part of its plan to close nearby Liddell power station in 2022.
The company will give details of the plan during a media conference at the power station on Wednesday morning, after a high stakes stand-off with the Federal Government in 2017 over the future of Liddell and AGL’s commitment to gradually shift away from coal-fired energy production to renewables.
The $200 million upgrade will create 90 jobs and is a key part of the company’s NSW Generation Plan, a spokesperson said.
“The upgrade is among the investments being made by AGL to replace the 1000 megawatt capacity shortfall the Australian Energy Market Operator identified could follow the repurposing of our Liddell plant in 2022,” the spokesperson said.
“The Bayswater upgrade will improve the power station’s capacity and efficiency, providing enough energy for up to 100,000 homes - increasing electricity supply without increasing coal consumption or emissions.”
AGL Macquarie General Manager Kate Coates, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald and Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen said the project would now be assessed by the Department of Planning and Environment.
Ms Coates said AGL was investing more than any other energy company in Australia to increase electricity supply and help put downward pressure on prices.
“By replacing the original turbines with modern turbine technology, Bayswater will have an additional 100MW capacity, which is enough energy for up to 100,000 average Australian homes,” Ms Coates said.
“This extra electricity supply will be generated without the need for additional coal use, and therefore without additional emissions.
“Subject to approvals, the upgrade works are expected to commence by February 2019 and span four years, with Bayswater’s four turbine sets proposed to be replaced during planned unit maintenance outages.
“This will ensure all Bayswater’s upgraded turbines are fully operational by 2022.”
Bayswater is scheduled for closure in 2035.
Ms Coates said the project would create 90 jobs for the duration of each turbine replacement.
“Importantly, the investment of more than $200 million over the next four years includes ongoing outage capital expenditure to maintain reliability,” Ms Coates said.
“This is in line with previously communicated capital spending to maintain performance for the working life of the plant.”
Toshiba is principal contractor for the project.