Western Australia approves deal for 4 gas-fired power projects

Dec. 19, 2000à‚–In a compromise agreement with the government of West Australia, the Woodside Energy Ltd.-Energy Equity Corporation Ltd. (WEL-EEC) consortium will build four gas-fired power stations to supply electricity to Western Power Corp.

WEL and EEC agreed with Western Power to modify the original proposal to include use of an alternative power provider that will supply renewable energy sources, in addition to natural gas.

Reported Tuesday, the contract with Western Power is for 18 years with an option for up to 7 more years. Power is currently generated at a loss by Western Power using diesel generators. The contract with WEL-EEC will result in savings to Western Power of about $200 million (Aus.) over the contract period, according to Woodside.

Electricity generated by the new stations will be used by Western Power to meet the growing energy needs of Broome, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, and Camballin in the west Kimberley region. Gas for the power stations will be transported to each site as LNG from the Woodside-operated North-West Shelf Gas Venture at Karratha in specially-designed LNG road tankers.

Richard Beresford, Woodside௿½s director of downstream development, said the project with a reported $500 million (Aus.) price tag signals a new era in power generation for western Kimberley using technology that will be applicable to many other remote regions in western Australia.

௿½The WEL-EEC project has been rigorously tested against competing proposals to supply power to the West Kimberley and has demonstrated the best all-round solution,௿½ Beresford said.

He said the West Kimberley project provides the launching pad for gas to be the cornerstone in the development of a range of sustainable energy projects for remote regions of the state, including combining gas with renewable energy sources to provide tailored solutions to a whole range of energy users.

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