Coal, New Projects

Australian Magnate vows to Build 700-MW Coal-Fired Power Station

The outspoken Australian political leader and coal mining magnate Clive Palmer announced plans to build a 700-MW coal-fired power plant near and to support his mining interests in Queensland, vowing to fund it without government assistance and to help bring down energy costs in the nation.

Palmer, leader of the United Australia Party and chairman of Waratah Coal, announced the new coal-fired plant in an interview and series of tweets Tuesday. In those tweets he said he would sue the government if he had to and took a swipe at international carbon emissions agreements such as the Paris Climate Accord.

“We’re not looking for handouts,” He said on his Twitter account, adding in another tweet: “We’re currently funding all of it, 100 percent. We should be throwing out the Paris agreement, 90 percent of the people haven’t complied with it.”

Australian government officials previously have said they would not assist Palmer in funding such a project.

The announced early cost estimate of the coal-fired power plant would be $1.54 billion. The location would be within his mining interests near the Galilee Coal Project.

“I am putting my money where my mouth is by announcing this new station, so we can power Queensland and help bring down energy costs, which continue to escalate,” he said in a statement.

He also took a Twitter shot at how Queensland is a global exporter of coal—much of it consumed by Japanese and Chinese companies—while the Australian region itself is dealing with high energy prices.

Waratah Coal must draft an environmental statement and meet other benchmarks to ever get the coal-fired plant approved. If approved, Palmer hoped to start construction on the Queensland station by 2020 and complete work by 2023, according to reports.

The expressed purpose of the power station is to support operations of the Galilee mining efforts, Palmer said.

Palmer is a former minister of the Australian parliament who re-entered the political fray recently.