The Queensland government’s two state-owned power generation businesses have recorded further write-downs, as plant failures and a continued surge in renewables investments further erode the profitability of the state’s coal plants.
The annual reports for Stanwell and CS Energy, tabled in the Queensland parliament this week, show mixed results for the two publicly owned entities and a worsening future for the state’s coal generators.
CS Energy slumped to an after-tax loss of $266.1 million for the 2020-21 financial year – almost triple the loss recorded the year prior – with the company dealing with a collapse in revenues caused by the dramatic failure of a unit at Callide C power station.
In May, an explosion at the Callide C power station caused catastrophic damage to the plant’s 405MW fourth unit, with the incident causing several other generators to go offline, triggering a temporary blackout impacting around 375,000 homes and businesses.
With the unit rendered unusable, CS Energy has written off a further $104.3 million from the book value of the Callide C plant, as well as a $19.2 million impairment to the neighbouring Callide B power station.