Energy Australia says it has ramped up production at its Tallawarra plant on the shores of Lake Illawarra to more than double its standard capacity in response to tight gas market conditions.
Most important points:
- Tallawarra more than doubles its standard capacity in response to tight gas market conditions
- Overall, it will run at 20 percent of its 435MW capacity, at 75 percent in May
- Meanwhile, Andrew Forrest’s energy consortium says its floating gas hub will help solve short-term supply constraints
Federal Energy Secretary Chris Bowen will convene a meeting of state and territory energy ministers on Wednesday as gas prices rise across the country.
Resources Secretary Madeleine King has negotiated with producers to get more gas into the system.
The Tallawarra gas plant has the potential to generate 435 megawatts of power.
In an average year, Tallawarra usually runs at about 20 percent of its full capacity.
So far this year it has been around 60 percent and last month around 75 percent.
An Energy Australia spokesperson said it continues to work with suppliers and other stakeholders to ensure there are sufficient gas reserves to meet the needs of its customers.
That included supporting existing gas customers and new customers transferred through the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) Retailer of Last Resort (RoLR) schemes.
It also went ahead with the construction of a hydrogen and gas-fired power plant Tallawarra B with a capacity of more than 300 MW on the same site.
In April, 735 cubic meters of concrete was poured for the project’s gas turbine plate.
It said the Tallawarra B project would be ready by summer 2023-24, ahead of the planned retirement of the Liddell power station.
Another project it was pursuing near Lithgow in the central west of the state proposes using the Lake Lyell dam, which supplies water to the Mt Piper power station, to form a new 335MW pumped hydroelectric power station. with eight hours of storage.
The proposal has encountered opposition due to: concerns about its impact on biodiversity and tourism†
Floating gas terminal better option than new gas fields
Australian billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s energy consortium has weighed in on the national conversation about gas market tensions, urging governments not to approve new coal seam fields, including Santos’ Narrabri gas project.
His company, Australian Industrial Energy, has approved a floating gas import terminal in Port Kembla.
The company is currently reconstructing a quay in the port and is working on onshore facilities, including a connection to the existing Easter Gas Pipeline after signing a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) contract with a Norwegian company in November 2021.
Australian Industrial Energy chairman John Hartman said FSRU ships have been in high demand since the invasion of Ukraine.
“Our decision to bring the FSRU to Australia for the PKET (Port Kembla Energy Terminal) is highly dependent on the gas retailers committing to using the PKET,” said Mr. Hartman.
He said the company hopes to complete construction by the end of 2023.
He also argued that the Port Kembla project was the best way forward for the country.
“The PKET is an energy security project that enables critical energy supply.
“It will help overcome the short-term supply and transportation constraints of the East Coast market, but with infrastructure that can quickly transition to green hydrogen and other uses of green energy when the time is right.
“Investing in new gas projects will only prolong our dependence on fossil fuels.”
Santos CEO and CEO Kevin Gallagher told the Melbourne Miners Club last week that the current situation is not the producers’ fault.
“The scarcity of new development is frightening,” he said.
“Customers are clamoring for this gas with more demand than we can meet when it hits the market around 2026.
He accused 10 years of a failed energy policy.
“Domestic shortages and the price shocks we have seen in recent weeks have nothing to do with the behavior of gas producers or exporters, who are now doing everything they can to support the market,” said Mr Gallagher.
“This is the result of more than a decade of energy policy failures, which have halted the industry from providing more gas in a timely manner.”
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