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AGL sticks to closure of 2GW Liddell coal power plant by 2022

EBR Staff Writer Published 07 September 2017

AGL Energy (AGL) stated that it will persist with its original plan to retire the 2GW Liddell coal power plant in New South Wales (NSW) in 2022.

The Australian energy company also said that it has not committed on extending the life of the Liddell Power Station beyond its scheduled decommissioning.

AGL’s disclosures come at a time when Delta Electricity is reportedly considering to acquire the aging coal power plant located near Muswellbrook at Lake Liddell.

However, Delta Electricity confirmed that it has not been approached regarding the acquisition of the Liddell Power Station, which was put into service in 1971.

The AGL's coal power plant generates about 8,000GWh of power to meet the electricity consumption needs of nearly one million average homes in Australia.

AGL’s revelations also come amid comments made by the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the retirement of the thermal power plant. In an interview, Turnbull voiced concern over the reduction in the country's energy generation capacity following the retirement of the 2GW Liddell Power Station.

Turnbull said that he is exploring options to ensure that the power plant continue its operations. He also revealed that discussions are going on to sell the thermal power plant to a responsible party which can operate the Liddell Power Station for a period of at least five years.

However, AGL reiterated that it had committed to the power plant closure in 2022, which also marks the end of its operating life.

The company stated: “AGL provided this advance notice in April 2015 to avoid the volatility created by the sudden exit from the National Electricity Market of other coal-fired power stations.

“AGL recognises community and government concerns in relation to energy security, as highlighted in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s 2017 Electricity Statement of Opportunities published yesterday, and continues to assess the capacity that will be needed post 2022 to replace Liddell.”

Image: The Liddell Power Station pictured in 2006. Photo: courtesy of Webaware/Wikipedia.org.