Australia closes its oldest coal-fired power plant
Sydney, Australia, Apr 28 (EFE).- Australia’s largest power generator AGL Energy on Friday closed its Liddell Power Station, the oldest coal-fired plant in the country.
“Liddell has finally reached the end of its technical life and the time has now come to safely and respectfully retire the station and join the change to a cleaner future,” AGL Chief Executive Officer Damien Nicks said in a statement.
“The world is changing and so is AGL,” Nicks said about the closure of the plant, which opened in 1971 in New South Wales’ Upper Hunter region (about 250 kilometers Sydney) to provide energy to around a million homes and businesses.
AGL plans to convert the Liddell facility – the workers of which have been transferred to other departments or received severance pay – into an industrial renewable energy hub, which will include building a 500-megawatt grid-scale battery.
Around 90 percent of the materials from power station demolition, which will begin next year and is expected to take two years, will be recycled, including some 70,000 tons of steel, according to the statement.
The closure of Liddell is part of AGL’s plans to transform all of its fossil-fuel premises into renewable energy facilities in order to reduce its polluting emissions by some 8 million tons per year, which is equivalent to 5 percent of Australian power sector emissions in 2021, Nicks said.
AGL is considered the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Australia, according to specialized renewable energy website Renew Economy, and in the fiscal year 2021-22 alone, the company released some 39.5 million tons of polluting emissions.
The measures announced by the company are in line with the shift in Australia’s energy policy following the May 2022 election of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who has vowed to turn his country into a renewable energy powerhouse to fight climate change. EFE