May 23, 2018 Read More →

Australia: AGL Moves Forward With Plans to Close Liddell Coal Plant

The Guardian:

The energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, has called on AGL Energy to make a financial commitment to its transition plan after the company rejected a bid from Alinta for the ageing Liddell power plant, and confirmed it will shut the facility as planned in 2022.

In a decision delivering a public rebuke to the government, which has strong-armed the company over many months to either sweat the New South Wales plant longer or sell it to a competitor, AGL said on Monday morning it had rejected the bid and will proceed with its commercial strategy “after careful consideration.”

AGL Energy issued a statement to the ASX, saying the company’s board—which the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and Frydenberg, had been lobbying—had determined Alinta’s offer was “not in the best interests of AGL or its shareholders”.

“The offer significantly undervalues future cash flows to AGL of operating the Liddell power station until 2022 and the repurposing of the site thereafter,” the AGL statement said. “In considering the offer, AGL sought external expert advice on matters relevant to the offer, including the capital expenditure requirements across all plant components and the reliability and safety profile of the ageing power station.

“Consequently, AGL has reaffirmed its decision to close Liddell in December 2022 and will continue progressing its NSW generation plan, which includes repurposing Liddell.”

AGL has been signaling for some time it will close Liddell in 2022 and replace it with renewables, batteries, gas power, upgraded coal power and demand response. But with encouragement from the government, at the end of April, Alinta and its Hong Kong-based owner, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, made a $250 million bid for the power station and site.

More: AGL Rejects Alinta’s Bid for Liddell Power Plant, Confirming Its Closure

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