The Queensland Government is getting ready to restart Swanbank E power station, securing gas and starting to recruit staff in an attempt to generate more electricity for queenslanders.
Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, told State Parliament the 385MW Swanbank E power station, which was mothballed in 2014 and dismissed 25 staff, would restart by the end of 2017.
“Restarting Swanbank E and bringing more supply to market is a key priority under our $1.16 billion Powering Queensland Plan, following failures of the National Electricity Market,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“My Government can restart the Swanbank E power station because it remains in public ownership.
“My Government has kept downward pressure on electricity prices. We have kept increases to an average 1.9 per cent per annum over three years and we have increased the electricity rebate for eligible seniors and pensioners to $340.85 and extended it to Commonwealth Health Care Card holders.”
Ms Palaszczuk said Stanwell had also begun recruiting for 16 new jobs that will be created as part of the power station’s return to operation.
“New employees are expected to be in place by mid-September 2017,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“The power station will undergo a test run and commissioning, scheduled for November through December with the intent to be fully operational on or before 1 January 2018.”
Treasurer and Acting Minister for Energy, Curtis Pitt, said firing Swanbank E up again was necessary after the extreme record heat waves and a lack of energy certainty that has undermined industry investment and placed upward pressure on wholesale electricity prices.
“We can’t control the weather but we can take action now to bring the state-owned Swanbank E gas-fired power station back online in time for the summer months,” Mr Pitt said.
“Our ability to take this action is a result of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to retain Stanwell as a state-owned asset.
“It is expected that the potential impacts of bringing this additional capacity online in the first quarter of 2018 is likely to reduce the price volatility in the electricity market during this period.”