Australia’s biggest energy retailer Origin Energy has announced a massive impairment of $1.6 billion after deciding to write down the value of its coal and gas assets, and also taking a hit on the value of its renewable energy contracts.
Origin says the write downs are the result of falling wholesale prices – driven mostly by the influx of new wind and solar projects – and the soaring price of gas, which has reduced profitability from its fleet of gas generators.
The biggest hit, however, is on the Eraring coal fired power station in NSW, which at 2.8GW is the biggest in the country. Eraring accounts for the bulk of the $583 million post-tax write-down of generation assets.
Origin did not reveal how much of that sum was linked to Eraring, and gave no indication whether it would look to fast track the closure of the coal generator, currently scheduled to exit the market by 2032.