State Significant Infrastructure
Hunter Power Project (Kurri Kurri Power Station)
Current Status: Determination
Interact with the stages for their names
- Prepare EIS
- Collate Submissions
- Response to Submissions
A Critical State Significant Infrastructure application, involving construction and operation of a 750 megawatt (MW) gas fired power station, electrical switchyard and ancillary infrastructure.
Notice of Exhibition (1)
Response to Submissions (5)
Additional Information (8)
Management Plans and Strategies (25)
Independent Reviews and Audits (3)
Other Documents (21)
Note: Only documents approved by the Department after November 2019 will be published above. Any documents approved before this time can be viewed on the Applicant's website.
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There are no enforcements for this project.
Note: Only enforcements and inspections undertaken by the Department from March 2020 will be shown above.
Thus, NOAA's warning there is no room for expansion of fossil power, in any form, whose use cannot end fast enough, to bind all, as a warning, of risk, that cannot be run, rather than the misleading, or mischievously played, assertion, lack of certainty, which applies only to the completely different world, were climate control being attempted, rather than the world of risk, of use, that cannot be, and is not to be, run.
These last words have to be repeated, because of the following point.
The ever-vaster, gaping inaction, during the time of NOAA's standing warning, of decades, makes this an emergency. NOAA's monitoring has only ever confirmed the soundness of the warning.
At the start of power-civilisation, over 300 years ago, based on this massive combustion, of fossil material, GHG were 280 ppm, for a global temperature of about 15, which has risen over a degree, since, mostly in the last century, and accelerating. Ppm are now over 415, with the heating capability fulfilment of present level, and past emissions, still in the future.
Without GHG, global temperature would be, minus 18, to give some idea of their potency.
Emergency: As you read this, ppm are still rising. In less than, the last 65 short years, Arctic ocean ice has become seasonal. Massive energy, once reflected, is now absorbed by dark water. Humankind has no control over this. Similarly, south east Australia in less than a short 25 years is now semi-arid, rather than moist, mild and temperate. Above maximum and minimum temperatures, often by large margins, have been outrunning average and mostly barely below, for decades. Hence, rainforests now burn, and the pattern of burning of Australia bears no relation to the one, to the 1990s, especially in fierceness and frequency, and spread, in territory and period of the year, of the burning "season".
It is not required, as renewables with batteries and storage can do the job of replacing the Liddell coal station.
Gas is expensive power, and would increase power bills for those in NSW, and across the eastern electricity market, costing jobs, and causing financial hardship to homeowners.
Additionally, gas is as emission intensive as coal, so there is no climate change benefit.
Renewables plus batt/storage is the answer, NOT gas.
The NSW government is to be quite frank, taking the piss and the Australian public are watching. Time to stop more fossil fuel power stations and go hard on renewables. It makes no fiscal or ecological sense to build this power station and I for one will ensure I never use EnergyAustralia again if they actively do harm to our Earth instead of working with us to lower our emissions. To do so would be to cut our noses off to spite our faces.
I would like to see the Government be more ambitious in their targets and aim for and reach net zero emissions by 2030.
For 10 ongoing jobs it makes no financial sense.
For a reduction in fossil fuel use, it makes no sense.
For the spending of $610M for the betterment of the country, it makes no financial sense.
It is abundantly clear why this project is being attempted and this needs to stop NOW.
$610M can make a huge difference if used in the right way, but we know Angus Taylor has no intention of doing anything appropriate.
The capacity of a $600 million battery on this site, in terms of its ability to meet urgent grid demand, should be assessed in conjunction with other grid scale batteries that are planned to be built. Without this assessment there has not been sufficient consideration of the value for money or whether this provides the best outcome for future generations.
The impact of a big battery at this site on electricity prices should also be assessed as part of the planning submission.
With kind regards,
There is much about this project that raises the possibility of the decision being based on politics rather than need. For example the inaccuracy of the claim by the Federal Government that the plant will be "hydrogen ready" despite the EIS saying that modifications would be required. Any money spent by governments on power must now be for renewable energies - anything else calls into question the duty of care our governments have to lead us through the climate crisis.
Do not allow this project to continue. It will add to carbon emissions, increase pollution for local communities and is a money-wasting distraction from the real job of switching to the cheaper, renewable and sustainable alternatives.
Gas-Fired Power Station at Kurri Kurri. I understand that my many concerns
will be addressed by Snowy Hydro.
1. The feasibility and economic rationale for a gas fuelled power station.
The feasibility of using gas-fired power is challenged by the scientific
evidence and advice. The International Energy Agency recently published a
report calling for an end to gas projects if the world is to meet the world
target of non-zero emissions by 2050. The Australian government, however,
has no overarching climate control policy and Mr Morrison repeatedly
proclaims that the lack of response from the private industry to meet the
intermittent possibility of electricity shortfall, has promoted the Federal
Government (Hydro Electricity) to build this gas-fired power station. The
private industry has not met his demands of working with gas because it is
not economically feasible: there are more affordable and cleaner options
available and gas is the most expensive option. Matt Kean, NSW
Environment Minister, believes we must seize opportunities in emerging
clean energy technologies and that we should be moving towards a
combination of wind, solar & pumped hydrogen.
A task force set up by State & Federal governments also questions the need
for 1,000 megawatts to ensure continual electricity provision, stating that the
figure is closer to 154 megawatts and that that could be provided by solar
and wind, backed by battery storage. The prime minister makes no mention
of the recent proposal put forward by a consortium of private investors
(including AGL, GE, APA Group, Idemitsu and commodities trader
Trafigura,) to make the Hunter Region a centre for the production of
hydrogen. It would also appear that the current government is ignoring the
facts presented by its own advisory bodies. Dr Finkel, Australia's chief
scientist from 2016 to 2020, is now Special Advisor to the Commonwealth
Government on the research, development transition, and application of low
emissions technology. He has explained how the hydrogen network, through
hydrogen-powered turbines will be able to provide green, dispatch able
Angus Taylor has told the public that this power station is essential, not only
for domestic overload periods but also because of the necessity to keep
industries working. He uses Tomago Aluminium as his example for this.
Tomago Aluminium, Australia's biggest electricity user, had had to cut back
production because there was not enough "normal" power on three nights
after major outages at several black coal plants. Energy market experts deny
that there was a lack of available electricity because Hydro Electricity
already owned the 667MW Colongra generator, which could have readily
provided the required electricity. Tomago Aluminium chose not to purchase
that electricity because the government price at $15,000 a megawatt hour
was too high! The experts also question why another "peaking" gas-fired
power station is required when Colongra has run at less than 1% of its
capacity over the last year. Senate estimates heard it usually runs at between
5% and 8% capacity. Mr Taylor's assertions are not validated and we don't
need another peaking power station!
Is My Taylor deliberately misleading taxpayers or does he not seek the facts
from his advisors? It is disconcerting to feel that the Federal minister in
charge of this area is mis-informed or deliberately presenting falsehoods.
There is currently no available gas in the area to run this power station and it
will be initially running on diesel, an even worse pollutant, which will be
transported by road along the busy Hunter Expressway. There appears to be
no prediction of how long this would be functioning but a $500 million gas
pipeline, 833 kms long, has to proceed to ensure the plant has a stable supply
of gas, so the use of diesel might not be over a short timeline.
2. The positioning of the power station
The Environmental Impact Statement states that the site is in "a relatively
isolated location surrounded by forest and rural or semi-rural land uses".
Not true. Within a five mile radius there are at least 11 towns (Loxford,
Heddon Greta, Gillieston Heights, Weston, Abermain, Kurri Kurri,
Cliftleigh, Pelaw Main, Stanford Merthyr, Buchanan & Neath) that
collectively comprise a population of over 20,000 residents. There have
always been well-established populations in the towns in this area because of
the proximity to the Hunter Valley mines and vineyards. The building of the
Hunter Expressway and the closure of the smelter in 2012 have made this
area a popular residential area. The area has become appealing for those
wishing to move out of Newcastle, yet enjoy the proximity to it, and enjoy
larger building blocks in an un-polluted environment. Since the construction
of the nearby Hunter Expressway, the area has also become more attractive
to those working in the Newcastle/ Lake Macquarie/ Maitland areas as well
as the Hunter Valley. For example, there are 3 newish housing estates off
nearby Gingers Lane (1.9 km from the projected power station site) and
Gillieston Heights, another recent housing development has a population of
more than 3,000 residents.
There is no mention in the report of the nearby vineyards and the effect that
nitrous pollution could have on grape crops.
Currently, the government claims that this power station would only be in
use for 2-10% of the time. One questions why a 660megawatt generator
would be necessary for this amount of power? Could it be that there is a
future plan for full usage of this installation that is not being publically
stated? While the 2-10% level of usage is being suggested, people are being
soothed into thinking that this will not be a problem but again, I question the
necessity for a power station of this size, which could potentially be in
Lack of transparency is worrying in this proposal. Geoff McCloy, a major
Liberal Party donor, along with partner, John Stevens bought the prospective
site of this power station in 2020. By April 2021 a power station had been
planned and an Environmental Impact Plan had been finalised. In May 2021
the government was insisting that the power station would go ahead. A
surprisingly fast process given the size of the project and the time usually
required for drawing up plans and undertaking the required environmental
research! Revealed in a Senate Inquiry this week, however, was the fact that
Snowy Hydro had been looking at sites for this power station since 2007,
including the Kurri Kurri site. When did Mr McCloy, with his close
affiliation with the Liberal Party and long-term friend of Paul Broad, Chief
Executive of Snowy Hydro, learn that Kurri Kurri was the chosen site? It
would be highly coincidental if it was indeed after he had purchased the site.
In a recent Senate estimates hearing, department secretary David Fredericks
would not disclose the amount that Snowy Hydro (i.e. the government) had
agreed to purchase the land from Mr McCloy and Mr Stevens for, saying
"that would be, firstly, a matter for Snowy Hydro; secondly, potentially
subject to cabinet in confidence: and thirdly, potentially a matter of current
commercial in confidence". It is outrageous that this information could be
withheld from taxpayers. The reluctance to give this information could
maybe indicate that Mr McCloy and Mr Stevens have made a huge profit on
this investment, which at the time of purchase they described " as the biggest
of their careers."
It would also appear that the owners of the Hunter Gas Pipeline, also major
Liberal Party donors, will similarly profit handsomely from this project.
Elsewhere in the Environmental Impact Report it states that "the visual
impact is considered low to negligible due to the existing industrial
landscape character". An interesting statement given the previous description
of the surrounding environment as being semi-rural & forested. Again, this
is not a true descriptor. This is not a heavily industrialised area and the
stacks and the plumes would be visible by all the surrounding towns
mentioned. All fossil fuelled power stations emit pollution and this would
drift over these nearby residential areas and possibly to the vineyards.
Cessnock and Maitland, are also only about 12 km away and could be
impacted in certain climate conditions.
Given the above issues, it is very feasible that the installation of this power
station would decrease the value of surrounding properties.
While the Environmental Impact Statement is quite technical and difficult
for the layperson to interpret, there are several clear conclusions in the
Hazard Risk assessment that are concerning, including "the Proposal will
exceed the electricity generation nominal energy output threshold and is
therefore deemed as a potentially offensive industry development." On page
21 we also read that " the minimum distance of the Proposal site ... towards
the western boundary is not met. Therefore, the Proposal is considered
potentially hazardous (NSW2011) due to inadequate distance to the Rural
Another major issue for the placement of this power station is that the
proposed site has no ready natural water supply. Most power stations are
located near a natural water supply, such as a lake, as large amounts of water
are need to be cycled through their systems. This site has no natural water
source and water would be provided by connection to an existing Hunter
Water potable water supply pipeline. The water demand for the two stacks is
estimated to be 133.1 Kl per hour. The water usage for my household for the
last four months was 31Kl in total, so the proposed power station would be
putting a considerable drain on a precious resource. The used water would
then be ejected into the existing sewerage system. Given the crippling
droughts and the severe water restrictions we encounter every few years, this
aspect of the running of
The proposed plant will contribute to unsustainable green house gas emissions in the production & burning of gas for power generation increasing Australias contribution to climate change & global warming. In its initial operating phase it is likely to have to burn diesel fuel making it even more polluting & inefficient;
It has been shown by the governments own advisory experts & the energy industry to be unnecessary in terms of replacing ageing generating capacity and will only operate for 1-2% of the time ;
The project will cost $600 million (probably more )of tax payers money & could easily become a stranded asset , this money should be spent funding cheaper , safer & more efficient renewable power options;
The price of gas is very high so the operating costs will also be much higher than renewable alternatives like solar, wind , pumped hydro & battery storage;
The project will only generate 10 permanent jobs once it is up & running- not a good return on investment;
The Collongra power station owned by snowy hydro should be used more effectively before any new gas fired station is considered to be built;
No new fossil fuel power generation projects should even be considered if we are to meet our obligations to global co2 emission reductions.
In conclusion I strongly object to this proposal and urge anyone in a decision making position to also reject this ridiculous project for the sake of future generations & the taxpayers of Australia.