EnergyAustralia buys gas power plants from IFM

Newport gas-fired electric power station. Image: Shutterstock

EnergyAustralia has purchased power station operator Ecogen Energy from IFM Investors for $205 million.

Ecogen Energy is the owner of both the Newport and Jeeralang gas-fired power stations in Victoria, representing 950MW, or up to 9 per cent of the state’s electricity generation capacity.

EnergyAustralia has had an off-take agreement for substantially all the electricity produced by the plants since 1999.

The Newport plant in Melbourne is a 510MW-capacity single unit, while the Jeeralang power station, in the Latrobe Valley, has seven units with 440MW total capacity.

The intermediate and peaking plants are generally brought into operation when demand is high or as short-term replacements while other plants are serviced.

Managing director Catherine Tanna said the acquisition provided EnergyAustralia with the certainty of direct ownership and the flexibility of intermediate and peaking gas-fired generation.

“A new, modern energy system is taking shape, based around a range of technologies including solar, wind, demand response, pumped hydro and battery storage,” Ms Tanna said.

“Gas-fired generation has an important role to play supporting the integration of renewable energy which makes Ecogen a great addition to our asset portfolio.

“We know these assets well and we look forward to welcoming the Ecogen team onboard.”

Ms Tanna said the Ecogen plants would be integrated into EnergyAustralia, complementing the company’s existing fleet of owned coal, gas, wind, commercial-scale battery and demand response assets and contracts.

EnergyAustralia has a portfolio of potential projects including pumped hydro and energy developments.

It also has permits for an aggregate of 1000MW of new gas-fired capacity at Tallawarra, near Wollongong, and Marulan, near Goulburn.

EnergyAustralia expects the transaction to reach completion during the second quarter of 2018.