Alinta Energy clarifies market reports

20/04/2012

Alinta Energy wishes to clarify some incorrect media reports regarding operations of the Flinders power stations at Port Augusta in South Australia.


Alinta Energy wishes to clarify some incorrect media reports regarding operations of the Flinders power stations at Port Augusta in South Australia.

Alinta Energy has notified the market of our intention to only operate the Northern Power Station during the period from October to March for the immediate future.  The Playford Power Station is not intended to operate at any time during the year.  Both power stations will however remain available for operation if required to ensure energy security.

The Playford Power Station will not be permanently closed. The Playford Power Station will remain available for operation throughout the year, and will be operated in circumstances where it’s economic to do so, including during summer to support the Northern power station. However Alinta Energy still intends to participate in the Federal Government’s contract for closure program for Playford, and is waiting for a decision to be made as part of this process.  Alinta Energy continues to assess the economic viability of alternative generation options at the Port Augusta site, including renewables such as solar thermal.
 
This decision has been made based purely on market conditions as Alinta Energy is not receiving adequate market returns to operate during those months.  The decision is not being made because of the price on carbon.  During non-operating periods key maintenance and other activities will be conducted to ensure operational reliability during the summer months.
 
This is not an exercise to cut employee numbers, the arrangement is intended to be transitional and if the market turns-around, and it becomes cost-effective for the stations to return to traditional baseload generation, we will review this arrangement at that time.  The reported job losses for 20 people are not correct.  No decisions on staffing changes for this new operating regime have been made.
 
In relation to the reported health concerns at Port Augusta, Alinta Energy is committed to the health and well-being of the Port Augusta community and the local environment.  Alinta Energy complies with all the conditions of its licences and is not aware of any evidence that the health concerns reported are in any way connected with its operations.
 
Media Contact:  Fiona Osler   0421 051 589