Newsletter, May 2013, Issue 138
Hydro Tasmania is working with Chinese energy giant Shenhua on plans for 700mW of new wind generation in Australia by 2020, involving an estimated investment of $1.6 billion.
The two businesses signed a strategic cooperation agreement in Beijing in April, during a six-day Australian trade mission to China led by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
The Chairman of Hydro Tasmania, Dr David Crean, and the Chairman of the Shenhua Group Corporation, Mr Zhang Xiwu, signed the agreement in the presence of the Premier of China, Li Keqiang, and Ms Gillard.
Hydro CEO, Roy Adair, said in Hobart that the strategic cooperation agreement took the relationship between the two businesses to a new level and would guide them as they worked on plans to develop, build and operate new wind farms.
He said the deal was not dependent on Australia’s present carbon-price arrangement which the coalition will end if it wins the federal election on 14 September.
“It is fundamentally founded on the continuation of the renewable energy target,” Mr Adair said, noting that there was bipartisan support for a target of generating 45,000 gigawatt-hours a year of renewable energy by 2020.
“I would say we’re fairly confident it will remain in place,” Mr Adair said.
Dr Crean said in Beijing: “This strategic agreement builds upon the excellent relationship that has developed between Hydro Tasmania and Shenhua over the past few years, with respect to Australian wind farm development.
“This follows on from the Roaring 40s joint venture involving Shenhua subsidiary Guohua and Hydro Tasmania from 2007 to 2009 where several wind farms were jointly constructed and managed in China.”
In February, the Shenhua Group, through its subsidiary Shenhua Clean Energy Holdings, acquired a 75 per cent stake in the Musselroe Wind Farm in north-east Tasmania.
The first turbines at the farm began turning in April and more will be commissioned in May as the State’s biggest wind development generates renewable energy into the electricity grid.
When fully commissioned, Musselroe’s 56 turbines will generate 168mW, enough to meet the home power needs of Burnie and Devonport.
The $395 million project has provided direct employment to more than 200 people during construction at its remote site near the small town of Gladstone. Launceston-based Haywards built the turbine towers, while Hazell Bros undertook the civil engineering works.
Hydro Tasmania maintains a 25 per cent stake in Musselroe and is responsible for the on-going management of the operation.
The Shenhua Group also has a 75 per cent stake in the Woolnorth wind farms at Bluff Point and Studland Bay in north-west Tasmania, with Hydro Tasmania retaining a 25 per cent share and managing them on behalf of the partnership.
Shenhua involvement with Hydro Tasmania is the first investment by a Chinese company in renewable energy generation in Australia.
Last year, Hydro Tasmania held public meetings on King Island seeking community support for a huge 200-turbine wind farm development, worth $2 billion.
The seven-year project, which would involve an expansion of the port at Currie, NBN connection for the island and a Basslink cable to deliver renewable power to Victoria’s energy grid, remains subject to community assent.
It could be incorporated into the Shenhua joint venture.
For further stories in this month’s newsletter, please click on the headlines.
Dark Mofo is ready to roll in June with an international lineup and $100,000 in free interstate flights to help prove that a winter festival can succeed in the nation’s coolest capital. If you would like to read more, please click on the headline.Read more...
Tasmania-based film-maker Pawel Achtel has worked in a Coles Bay shed to produce an underwater camera that out-performs the best efforts of the big-budget R&D teams at Canon, Sony and other multinational companies. If you would like to read about an amazing technological achievement, please click on the headline.Read more...
The world’s second-largest listed wine company, Treasury Wine Estates, has land-acquisition teams in Tasmania looking to lease or buy vineyards. If you would like to read how one corporation is reacting to climate change fears, please click on the headline.Read more...
Three gleaming new aluminium ships were tested on the Derwent Estuary in April as Richardson Devine Marine (RDM) and Incat Tasmania put the finishing touches on big-ticket exports bound for three different continents. If you would like to read more, please click on the headline.Read more...
The Lower House of the Tasmanian Parliament has passed amended legislation under-pinning an agreement to end the State’s 30-year forestry war. If you would like to read about a complex political process with potential to create an extra 504,000ha of forest reserves, please click on the headline.Read more...
Festival signs two top voices
This month’s News-in-Brief leads off with two of Australia’s most popular vocalists signing on for the Festival of Voices. We also report on the State’s new Centre for Food Innovation; Tasmania’s Vineyard of the Year for 2013; an important export deal for the wool industry and much more. If you would like to read the May edition of News-in-Brief, please click on the headline.Read more...
Quiz prizes this month will be sets of versatile greeting cards featuring artworks from the Handmark Gallery (card shown with Winter Burn by William Rhodes).
The April quiz answer: The Kermandie Hotel
This month's question: What is the starting date for Dark Mofo?
Closing date: 10/06/2013
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