10 November, 2017

Domanii Cameron

Courtesy of the Townsville Bulletin


NEW artist’s impressions of a high-efficiency low emissions coal-fired power station have emerged as demand for mixed energy in North Queensland continues to grow.

AGL Energy’s former head of corporate communications and investor relations officer Nathan Vass has released fresh imagery of what a HELE plant could look like if it was built in North Queensland.

Dawson MP George Christensen continues to gather ­signatures in support of coal-fired power in the North, with the intention of handing the petition to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Vass, who established the Australian Power Project, said the imagery provided North Queenslanders an idea of what could generate their power in the future.

“I understand we need to have a cleaner energy future but if we can get a clean coal power station in North Queensland that’s fantastic, because it gives certainty needed to invest,” he said.

“But we can move towards a cleaner future.”

The design has been modelled on the Mannheim power station in Germany, where similar technology is anchoring electricity production.

Mr Vass, who uses APP as an “advocacy vehicle”, said he walked a middle path between renewables and clean coal.

“It’s all very well to say ­renewables, renewables, ­renewables but if you wipe out coal completely, prices will go up,” he said.

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“You just can’t get affordable, reliable power.

“If you can make the HELE stuff work and you can control the emissions, and you have hi-tech, clean-burning technology, it can reduce emissions by as much as 75 to 90 per cent.

“Compared to an old-fashioned station, it’s cutting-edge technology.”

Mr Vass said with a state election having been called, it was important for the people of North Queensland to know what a plant could look like.

“We think that the time is right for a brand new HELE plant to be built,” he said.

“This would be the first time from the ground-up on a large scale.

“There’s no answer at the moment as to where energy will come from in the next 10 to 15 years. Commonly I’m hearing it could be built in two to four years.”

Mr Christensen said he had spoken to Mr Vass and had worked closely with APP.

“I’ve gathered nearly 1000 signatures over a matter of weeks,” he said.

“I want to put that in front of the Prime Minister on the table. We’re going to need to get the project to investment stage.

“I think it’s only fair that the (Commonwealth) Government coughs up for that.

“I would suggest in the next fortnight we’ll be wrapping it (petition) up.”