Environmental approval for Hunter Power project

Joint media release with Minister for the Environment the Hon Sussan Ley MP

The Hunter Power Project has been given the environmental tick of approval to ensure ongoing reliable and affordable power for the people of New South Wales.

The decision means construction can now begin on the 660 MW gas-fired power plant at Kurri Kurri, giving the green light to opportunities for local business and hundreds of jobs in the Hunter Valley.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the project had been approved after a rigorous assessment and on the condition that the project proponents, Snowy Hydro Limited, meet the conditions set by the NSW Government when it approved the project.

“This thorough bilateral assessment with NSW has paved the way for the development and operation of this new critical infrastructure in a way that sensitively manages, protects and rehabilitates the environment,” Minister Ley said.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Hunter Power Project was critical to keep the lights on and power prices low after the closure of the Liddell power station in 2023.

“The Morrison Government is committed to delivering the Hunter Power Project on time and on budget to ensure there is no risk to electricity consumers after Liddell closes,” Minister Taylor said.

“The project is good for jobs, it’s good for business and importantly it’s good for securing affordable, reliable power. It will support up to 600 direct jobs at peak construction and 1,200 indirect jobs across NSW.

“The Hunter Power Project is also vital to keep important businesses such as the Tomago Aluminium Smelter operating.

“Unlike Labor, the Morrison Government has a concrete, costed and commercial plan for the delivery of this important electricity project.

“Our business case demonstrates the project will deliver a double-digit rate of return of 12.3 per cent.

“We’re getting on with it – Labor will only delay it with its plan to double the cost without creating a single extra job or generating a single additional megawatt of power.”

The Government is providing up to $600 million in equity to support the gas-fired power station after setting a target for an extra 1,000 MW of dispatchable energy in NSW following the Liddell closure.

The Hunter Power Project also supports the objectives of the Government’s gas fired recovery program, which is crucial to help the economy recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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