A Melbourne-born technology company is eyeing the soon-to-close Yallourn Power Station as its new home.
Environmental Clean Technologies Limited, along with a consortium of companies, wants to buy the land and mining rights in Yallourn when it retires in 2028.
The power station in Latrobe Valley supplies up to 22 per cent of Victoria’s power and eight per cent of Australia’s electricity. It will be replaced by a battery by 2026.
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The company aims to return the site to its former glory.
“We can see a complete transformation of this area to fit the future,” said Environmental Clean Technologies (ECT) CEO Glenn Fozard. A current affair.
Fozard’s goal is to take over ECT’s demonstration plant at Bacchus Marsh and move it to Gippsland.
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“We want to build something like this, 10 to 20 times bigger,” Fozard said.
The company has been in operation for 15 years and claims to be able to convert lignite into dry pellets that can be used by industry.
“We are looking at how we can take lignite and transform it into higher value products with zero emissions and zero waste, to create products for future industries,” Fozard said.
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More than $100 million has been spent to create the lignite dry pellets, which the company says are made with net zero emissions and can be used for the production of batteries, soil health fertilizers and fuel such as clean hydrogen.
Fozard said it was a way of taking the billions of tonnes of lignite that are available in Victoria and turning it into products for future use.
“We’re getting closer to removing moisture, using low-grade recycled waste heat and that’s the key difference, we don’t use a lot of energy and we don’t burn anything,” Fozard said.
The key lies in the company’s drying technique.
But opponents of the technology say lignite is better kept underground.
“The worst thing to do right now is raise people’s expectations that there is a future for lignite, when we know that with climate change it is highly unlikely,” said Richie Merzian of the Australia Institute. A current affair.
“We are not on the right track to avoid dangerous climate change, we need to keep as much of the coal and gas in the ground as possible.
“That won’t go to waste, in fact it’s the best carbon capture solution we have, because releasing that lignite into the atmosphere is terrible for Australians, it’s terrible for the world in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. “.
Merzian is the director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Australia Institute in Canberra and does not support the company’s bid to buy the Yallourn power station.
Instead, he supports offshore wind power, “because he knows that technology will work, it’s a lot of work, and it’s a real solution that worked overseas, too.”
“At the end of the day, the best solution when it comes to lignite and climate change is to keep it in the ground and the best solution for communities that are dependent on lignite now is to give them industries that are really viable and sustainable for the future,” he said Merzian.
Statement from Energy Australia:
Last year we announced that the Yallourn Power Station will be retired in mid-2028 instead of 2032. The Yallourn site includes the power station, mine and surrounding land spread over 5,500 hectares. It represents a significant footprint within the Latrobe Valley region and could provide significant economic and social value to the region through its future land uses. The removal of the power plant provides an opportunity to re-imagine the future use of the site. We plan to consult with the local community and other interested parties about possible uses of the site. Yallourn W Power Station began operations in the 1970s and the site has a proud history dating back a century. Our $10 million support package, along with seven years advance notice of Yallourn retirement, is focused on supporting our Yallourn people and ensuring they have time to plan and prepare for their future. One way we support our workforce is by creating links to new job opportunities after Yallourn closes, especially in clean energy in Gippsland.
More information from Energy Australia:
We are determined to show that coal-fired power can exit the market in a responsible way that supports our people and ensures customers continue to receive reliable power as they transition to cleaner electricity supplies. We continue to work on transitioning Yallourn. We’ve asked every member of the Yallourn workforce about their wishes for the future and what planning support and upskilling they need to get there. provide cleaner, more reliable and affordable energy for Victorian homes and businesses.
Heartwarming results for those in dire straits
Australian wrestlers have contacted A Current Affair about everything from unfair bills to battles with bureaucracy in a last-ditch effort to get a fair shot and emerged victorious as a result.