Victorian Energy Minister opens co-generation plant

AGL Energy Limited’s $45 million co-generation facility in Altona, Victoria has been officially opened by Victorian Energy and Resources Minister Nicholas Kotsiras.

The plant is expected to provide an energy efficient supply of electricity and steam for Qenos, Australia’s sole polyethylene manufacturer.

Built, owned and operated by AGL’s Energy Services business unit, a team focused on improving the energy productivity of its commercial and industrial customer base, the plant will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 100,000 tonnes per annum, equivalent to taking 25,000 cars off the road.

The embedded plant has a nominal capacity of 21MW and will produce 171GWh annually, which is enough electricity to power more than 30,000 households. This, coupled with a heat recovery steam generator, produces up to 88 tonnes of steam per hour.

AGL managing director and chief executive officer Michael Fraser said the facility was the largest investment in industrial or manufacturing co-generation in more than a decade.

“This project has taken advantage of AGL’s strong position in the gas industry. It has also utilised the skills of our dedicated team of 65 plus engineers and technicians in AGL Energy Services, who are devoted to our industrial and commercial customers’ energy efficiency,” he said.

“AGL is well placed to assist the manufacturing industry, through its Energy Services business, to develop co-generation plants. These provide the biggest potential for manufacturers to reduce greenhouse gases and improve energy efficiency.”

Qenos chief executive officer Jonathan Clancy is an investment in real sustainability.

“This project is a further demonstration of the co-operation achieved between industry, government, employees and the community to provide a secure and long term energy source and improve the economics associated with the production of polyethylene,” he said.

In 2012, AGL and Qenos were jointly awarded the “Best co-generation Project” at the Energy Efficiency Council industry awards.