THE state government has denied it plans to sell the Tamar Valley Power Station. But Labor and the operator of the state’s gas pipeline said it was being mothballed and would not be able to be used in an energy crisis.
Concerns about Tasmania’s energy security has heightened after the companies which operate the Basslink electricity interconnector went into voluntary liquidation.
The 386MW Tamar Valley power station helped save the state from blackouts during an extended 2016 Basslink outage.
Opposition energy spokesman Dean Winter said the unit was being “mothballed”. “It’s simply unbelievable that the (Energy and Emissions Reduction) Minister Guy Barnett has chosen to ignore his own energy security task force and decided to mothball this vital energy asset,” Mr Winter said.
Mr Barnett said the government had no plans to sell the power station. “The government’s made it very clear during the election and in past weeks that we have no intention of selling the Tamar Valley Power Station,” he said.
Tasmanian Gas Pipeline director Lindsay Ward said it was clear the government intended to allow the station to be mothballed. “To suggest the (power station) can be easily fired up if there is no gas supplying it is wrong; only five years ago we had a major energy crisis in Tasmania, which saw brownouts for industry and the capacity to recover hampered by the fact that the gas-fired Tamar Valley Power Station was effectively shut down with its staff made redundant, only to be hastily rehired.” Mr Barnett on Monday announced the government had lodged its official funding submission with the federal government to initiate the Tasmanian Green Hydrogen Hub Project at Bell Bay. DAM LEVELS HIGH: PAGE 17