The future of the ageing Liddell coal fired power station in the Hunter Valley is the centre of discussions between owner AGL and the Federal Government, with suggestions public funds could be used to keep the facility open.
AGL chief Andy Vesey, whose company plans to close Liddell in 2022, is set to meet Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull next week to discuss the fate of the plant.
AGL, which is committed to “de-carbonise” its portfolio, has said it has no intention of changing plans for the 2022 closure, but the Government has suggested the plant is needed to ensure continuous supply.
AGL’s plan is to consider new options for the Liddell site, such as installing a wind, solar and battery farm.
Private operator Delta Electricity, which bought the Vales Point coal fired plant for only $1 million in 2015, has stated its interest in Liddell, a 46 year old facility which was upgraded a decade ago.
Former Resources Minister Matt Canavan, who resigned his portfolio as part of the dual citizenship fiasco, has backed the idea for public funds to buy a stake in Liddell to keep it operating.
This seems unlikely, with the more probable outcome – if AGL are strong armed by the Government – being a sale – at a bargain price – to a private operator.