Building a new power station is a high risk investment.
HRL is currently fighting a legal challenge from Environment Victoria to its current plan to build a new power station in Victoria. HRL might find this challenge provides a completely unexpected and unintended benefit.
HRL's proposed power station has a design that is well below the performance that can be achieved with technology first offered for sale earlier this year by Siemens and GE.
This is not just a case of amazing good luck for HRL. It can now build, own and operate a power station with world-record efficiency. It is also a last-minute reprieve for investors who came very close to funding an obsolete power station with relatively low rates of return.
For example, the new high efficiency gas turbine from Siemens produces 12 MWh with the same fuel needed to generate 10 MWh with old gas turbines. For investors, that is 20% more revenue for the same fuel cost.
Even better, the new technology creates a mere 330 kilograms of carbon dioxide for each MWh, instead of the whopping 780 kilograms of carbon dioxide for the power station HRL was about to build. It is about 1000 kilograms below the current Latrobe Valley brown coal fired power generation! For investors, the carbon tax is slashed by nearly 60%!!!
HRL and its investors have been given a second chance to build the cleanest, most efficient and most profitable base load power station in Australia - using the cheapest coal in Australia.
Read all about the best carbon energy technology in a submission on the Clean Energy Legislation Package. A brief summary with a link is in this blog entry ++>
Some of the steps on the path show how HRL and its investors only narrowly escaped missing out completely on this opportunity:
September 24, 2009 ▸ HRL propose $750m dual gas power plant for Victoria
The CO2 emissions intensity of the demonstration project is expected to average 0.78 tonnes CO2 per megawatt hour over the life of the project. This is about 40% lower than the current Latrobe Valley brown coal fired power generation annual average CO2 emissions intensity of about 1.3 tonnes CO2 per megawatt hour.
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May 21, 2011 ▸ Big banks 'no' to coal plant
AUSTRALIA'S four major banks have rejected funding a coal-fuelled power plant proposed for Victoria, raising doubts about its viability despite its controversial approval by the Environment Protection Authority.
The EPA has cleared the way for Melbourne coal technology company HRL to build what would be Victoria's first new coal plant in nearly 20 years.
Under yesterday's ruling, HRL can build a plant at Morwell using new gasification technology, which is claimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from brown coal power by about a third, to roughly the level of modern black coal stations.
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August 26, 2011 ▸ Environment Victoria in court over new coal-fired power plant
Environment Victoria was back at the Victorian Administrative Appeals Tribunal this afternoon, for the next step in our legal challenge to the EPA’s decision to approve a new coal-fired power station for Victoria.
In a shocking move, HRL Ltd, the company behind the new polluting power station, is making a legal challenge against Environment Victoria’s rights to stand up for our environment in the courts.
HRL’s lawyers are arguing that Environment Victoria shouldn’t be allowed to appeal to VCAT against the EPA’s decision. They also challenged the legal standing of community climate group LIVE, Doctor’s for the Environment Australia, and a Brunswick based individual.
Trying to have environmentalists and doctors struck out of the proceedings before they’ve even begun raises a very serious question – why is HRL trying to avoid scrutiny of their project? What have they got to hide?
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