HELE power plant would strengthen Queensland’s trade, energy leadership

2 May 2018

The Palaszczuk Government’s leadership promoting overseas trade and an energy mix for stable local supplies and prices would be strengthened if it also supported a high-efficiency low-emission (HELE) coal-fired power plant in the State’s north, Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said.

Addressing an energy forum in Brisbane today, Mr Macfarlane said with its support for the expansion of renewables and the continued role for coal and gas-fired electricity, the Palaszczuk Government had positioned Queensland to benefit from a stable and broad energy mix.

“In terms of the continued role for coal, the Government needed to acknowledge that HELE plants are being built around the world, and particularly in our key export markets,” he said.

Mr Macfarlane said HELE plants were, in the words of the International Energy Agency, “key components in their energy mix to ensure energy security and reliability” for Queensland’s top three overseas customers, China, Japan and India.

“If we ignore HELE plants as part of our energy mix, we ignore the actions of our top three trading partners and other countries around the world,” he said.

Mr Macfarlane said combined – China, Japan and India – accounted for $40 billion, or almost 60%, of Queensland’s export sales over the last 12 months.

“Representing Queensland as an export state in an export nation, the Government needs to acknowledge here are more than 1,000 of these HELE units currently delivering reliable and affordable electricity around the world and more than 1,200 planned, or under construction,” he said.

“Queensland has substantial reserves of high-quality, lower emission coal and it should take advantage of this resource to increase its international competitiveness and its trading position.”

“The resources sector also accounts for more than half of Queensland’s exports and so it’s important for Queensland to closely monitor developments in our key markets and remain responsive to their needs,” he said.

The International Energy Agency’s recent report on Australia’s energy policy stated that: “in terms of technology choice and support, China, India, and Japan promote cleaner high efficiency low emission (HELE) power plants as key components in their energy mix to ensure energy security and reliability.”

Link to the IEA report 

Media contact: Kirby Anderson 0400 206 502