Power station to close early

powerONE of WA’s largest power plants, the Kwinana Power Station, will be shut down in April next year, six months ahead of schedule.
State Energy minister Mike Nahan said the announcement was an example of the benefits of the government’s controversial merger of energy utilities

Synergy and Verve Energy, which took effect at the start of the year. Verve announced last year the station’s Stage C units would be closed by the end of 2015, with ageing equipment making the facility uneconomic. The government first began decommissioning
in 2008 amid estimations it would cost more than $50 million to extend the life of the station.

However, modelling and analysis that found financial benefits in closing the plant earlier than planned prompted Synergy to move forward the final shutdown by six months.

Synergy chief executive Jason Water said post-merger analysis had led to a repositioning of the original retirement decision and the second last unit closed in July 2014.

Dr Nahan said reducing excess capacity in the market and lowering operating and maintenance costs were among the benefits of the early retirement.

“These decisions have been made post-merger by an executive team who are identifying benefits that could not have been realised under two separate entities,” he said.

“Energy security, and meeting peak, summer period demand will not be compromised by the station’s early closure timeline.”

Synergy will retain ownership of the Kwinana site after the closure date, set at 3 April.