Energy company to use biomass to refire one of Australia’s top emitting coal power plants

Article by Amanda Jasi

Rokas Tenys / Shutterstock.com

AUSTRALIAN company Hunter Energy is to refire Redbank Power Station, a 151 MW coal plant in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, using biomass. It will employ waste wood products for energy generation.

Formerly owned by Redbank Energy, the plant closed in 2014. Prior to this it was considered to be one of Australia’s most polluting coal-fired power generators. According to a senate submission made by voluntary organisation Doctors for the Environment Australia, the plant emitted 1,187 tCO2-e/GWh.

The Australian reports that Hunter Energy chose to convert to 100% biomass to qualify for large-scale generation certificates. Switching to biomass is expected to reduce the emissions intensity of the plant, and it is reportedly aiming to achieve net zero emissions.

The news provider adds that according to Hunter Energy CEO Richard Poole, converting and restarting the plant will cost A$50m (US$32.2m), compared to the A$450m it would cost to replace it. The commissioning phase of this project it expected to create about 265 jobs, with 55 permanent roles.

Reportedly, Hunter Energy plans to start supplying energy into the national electricity grid by early 2021.

Redbank, which is currently in its care and maintenance mode, serves as Hunter Energy’s first project. The company is looking to build an energy supply portfolio to support the energy transition.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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