HRL Power Station: the next round

August 18, 2011 at 11:21 am Leave a comment

A quick recap

As you will be aware back in May 2011 the Environmental Protection Authority approved the construction of a new coal fired power station in the Latrobe Valley in the face of loud protests and submissions, including from CAM.

The power station to be built by Dual Gas Pty Ltd (a subsidiary of HRL) has been sold as demonstration project using ‘clean coal technology’ because it converts coal to synthetic gas but the fact remains that the gas creates the same emissions as black coal.

Not only is it environmentally bad it does not stack up financially. All four of the major banks have reportedly rejected the proposal which is not surprising since an expert panel “advised the Howard Government in 2006 not to fund HRL, citing numerous economic and technical risks that made the project a dodgy investment”. Source http://www.greenpeace.org.au/climate/GI-victoria-power.php.

So the opportunity exists to keep up the pressure.

HRL Litigation

As part of that pressure a number of organisations and people have lodged an objection to the Dual Gas approval with VCAT with the case to be heard in October. Included as a party to the proceedings is CAM member Martin Shield who wrote the original submission on behalf of CAM to the EPA objecting to the proposal.

Martin’s litigation focusses on the impact that climate change, and the pollution caused by HRL will have on him as an individual. Obviously climate change affects all of us – so we’re right behind this litigation and hope the court agrees that approving the HRL power station certainly isn’t in the best interests of the Victorian community.

Click here to read the CAM submission to EPA on HRL

Some more information on HRL and the plant

  • HRL Limited is rated in the top 50 of Australia’s polluting companies.
  • Projected costs for building the HRL power station have blown out from $750 million to a whopping $1.8 billion. By our back of the envelope calculations this amount could easily pay for renewable energy of the same generating capacity.
  • It will be located near the town of Morwell in the La Trobe valley, worsening health problems caused by the other coal fired stations in the area.
  • The power station will be imported from China partially constructed – meaning that there will be few new jobs created.
  • The HRL power station has been given a $100 million dollar grant by the Federal government and $50 million by the State government to develop this technology.

Things you can do to help the campaign

We need to get the Commonwealth and State Governments to withdraw their funding. The Federal grant was approved by the Howard Government in 2006 and the present Government should review that decision. The Federal Greens must be uneasy about it; the Victorian Greens oppose it. The money should go to real renewables.

Call or write to

Your Federal and State members of parliament

Christine Milne

Greg Combet

Martin Ferguson

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Community forum: the politics of pollution The next CAM meeting is …

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