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EnergyAustralia to buy 950MW of gas-fired plants in Victoria

EnergyAustralia to buy 950MW of gas-fired plants in Victoria

EnergyAustralia is set to take ownership in two gas-fired power plants in Victoria with a combined capacity of 950MW by acquiring their owner Ecogen Energy in an A$205m ($157.38m) deal.

Ecogen Energy, which is a Victoria-based power station operator, will be bought by the Australian energy retailer from funds management company IFM Investors.

The two gas-fired power plants involved in the transaction are the 510MW Newport gas-fired power plant in Melbourne and the 440MW Jeeralang gas-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley. Both the power plants contribute up to 9% of Victoria’s electricity generation capacity, claimed EnergyAustralia.

The energy retailer has been buying almost all the power generated from the two gas-fired plants since 1999 through off-take agreements.

While the Newport power plant consists of a single unit of 440MW, the Jeeralang power plant comprises seven power generating units.

The Newport plant has been in operations since 1981 while the Jeeralang power plant has been built from 1977 to 1980 in two phases.

EnergyAustralia managing director Catherine Tanna said that the acquisition of Ecogen Energy gives the company certainty of direct ownership and the flexibility of intermediate and peaking gas-fired power generation.

Tanna added: "A new, modern energy system is taking shape, based around a range of technologies including solar, wind, demand response, pumped hydro and battery storage.

"Gas-fired generation has an important role to play supporting the integration of renewable energy which makes Ecogen a great addition to our asset portfolio.

"We know these assets well and we look forward to welcoming the Ecogen team onboard.”

The two Ecogen gas-fired power plants will be integrated into EnergyAustralia, complementing the energy retailer’s current fleet of owned coal, gas, wind, commercial-scale battery and demand response assets and contracts.

EnergyAustralia, which has a pipeline of potential projects including pumped hydro and energy developments, has permits to develop up to 1GW of new gas-fired capacity at Tallawarra and Marulan in New South Wales.

Energy Business Review

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