The WA State Government has selected a preferred proponent to build a new power station in the Pilbara to meet the future energy needs of the region.

International energy company TransAlta Energy (Australia) Pty Ltd has been confirmed as the preferred proponent to build, maintain, operate and own a 150 megawatt station in South Hedland, following an extensive procurement process.

Subject to final commercial negotiations, the station will provide energy to both regional energy provider Horizon Power and major resource company Fortescue Metals Group.

Energy Minister Mike Nahan said the agreement was an excellent example of government working with industry to deliver positive outcomes for both the resources sector and regional communities.

“This agreement means this new and necessary power station will be privately-funded,” Dr Nahan said.  “This demonstrates that there are still innovative ways to ensure infrastructure is delivered in times of financial constraint.”

TransAlta expect the combined cycle gas power station to be delivering power in 2016 with full commissioning of the station in 2017.

The Minister said the project would help secure energy supplies for the rapidly growing Pilbara region.

“This new power project will ensure that both residents and industry in the Pilbara have access to reliable electricity into the future,” he said.

Horizon Power will draw about 110 megawatts of power from the new power station and the plant can be expanded to supply power to other commercial users from 2017 onwards.

The appointment of TransAlta is the culmination of an agreement between the State Government, Horizon Power and Fortescue Metals Group to commit to the construction of the plant.

Dr Nahan offered his congratulations to Horizon Power, the Department of State Development and Department of Finance in working together on the agreement.


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