Horizon Power will buy 110 megawatts (MW) of electricity from the new Pilbara power station being built, owned and operated by Canadian energy company TransAlta Energy (Australia) Pty Ltd.
The station will provide electricity to Horizon Power and major resource company Fortescue Metals Group (FMG). An additional 110 MW of power is required by Horizon Power to meet growing energy demand due to growth in the Pilbara. Power is expected to be exported from the station in late 2016 with full commissioning in 2017.
Construction of the station began in January and work is progressing well.
Horizon Power worked closely with a number of government agencies to reach the agreement with TransAlta which will result in additional electricity being provided to our Pilbara customers without taxpayers having to cover the cost of that infrastructure.
Energy Minister Mike Nahan said last year when the deal was announced that the agreement was an excellent example of government working with industry to deliver positive outcomes for both the resources sector and regional communities.
“This agreement means this new and necessary power station will be privately-funded,” Dr Nahan said. “This demonstrates that there are still innovative ways to ensure infrastructure is delivered in times of financial constraint.”
The Minister said the project would help secure energy supplies for the rapidly growing Pilbara region.
“This new power project will ensure that both residents and industry in the Pilbara have access to reliable electricity into the future,” he said.
Horizon Power Managing Director Frank Tudor said Horizon Power had run an exhaustive procurement process and he was proud of the business’ contribution to an energy solution that would benefit our Pilbara customers but not impact State debt.
The new plant can be expanded to supply power to other commercial users from 2017 onwards and some of the power available from 2016 will be used to power FMG’s port operations.
Dr Nahan has congratulated Horizon Power, the Department of State Development and Department of Finance for working together on the agreement.
Combined cycle power plants are highly efficient and feature both natural gas and steam turbines, with the steam turbine using waste heat from the gas turbine to generate additional power.
The project will include the construction of a new transmission line for delivery of power to FMG’s port operations.
Construction of the new station is due to be completed by the end of 2016 and commissioning of the station is due early in 2017.
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