The policy move aims to address power outages through a National Energy Guarantee, which will require energy suppliers to use dispatchable power from coal-fired, gas-fired and hydropower plants as well as energy storage.
The plant on offer is the 953 MW Loy Yang B plant (pictured) in Victoria state, currently co-owned by Engie, which holds a 70 per cent stake, and Japan’s Mitsui & Co. It supplies around 17 per cent of the state’s power needs.
Greg Everett, managing director of Australia’s Delta Electricity, told the Reuters news service that his firm had submitted a final bid for the plant by Engie’s mid-September deadline, but Engie is now seeking higher bids. Delta will not raise its offer, Everett said, even though Australia’s new policy “has changed the landscape” and could potentially increase Loy Yang B’s value.
Of the two final bids Engie received in September, the other came from China’s Alinta Energy.
A decision on the sale is expected by the end of this year, Engie said, with analysts predicting that the plant could fetch up to $1bn.
Loy Yang B came online in 1996 and Engie claims it is Australia’s “newest and most efficient coal-fired power station”.