Protecting families and businesses from higher energy prices

The Morrison Government is stepping up and building a new gas power plant in the Hunter Valley, which will create jobs, keep energy prices low, keep the lights on and help reduce emissions. 

This important project delivers on the Government’s 1,000 MW target set last September, which was created to avoid unacceptable price increases following the closure of the Liddell power station in 2023. 

In the 2021-22 Budget, the Government committed up to $600 million for Snowy Hydro Limited to construct a 660 MW open cycle gas turbine at Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley.

The Hunter Power Project will deliver an important economic boost to the region, creating up to 600 new jobs during peak construction and 1,200 indirect jobs across NSW.

This project, together with EnergyAustralia’s 316 MW Tallawarra B open cycle gas plant, will help shore up the security, reliability and affordability of electricity for consumers in NSW, with a commitment to be generating in time for summer 2023-24 when Liddell closes.

Securing reliable, affordable energy is critical to our plan to secure Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Government had given the private sector every opportunity and is fulfilling its promise to deliver the cheap, reliable power that NSW households, businesses and industries needed to prosper and grow.

“Cheap power is crucial to ensuring families, businesses and job-creating industries in NSW can thrive, which is why we are committed to replacing the energy generated by Liddell to keep prices down,” Minister Taylor said.

“This important project is good news for NSW as well as the broader National Electricity Market. 

“We were very clear from the start – we will not stand by and watch prices go up and the lights go off. This project will deliver flexible gas generation to replace Liddell and maintain reliable power alongside Australia’s world-leading investment in renewables.”

This is a responsible investment. Expected investment returns for the Hunter Power Project are strong and Snowy Hydro is on track to deliver this critical, dispatchable capacity, on-time and on-budget.

The Morrison Government has also announced a $24.9 million package in the 2021-22 Budget to support new gas generators to be hydrogen-ready, including a $5 million commitment to Tallawarra B. 

The construction of two new gas power plants will create over 2,000 direct and indirect jobs. This is what the Government’s gas-fired recovery is about – helping Australia bounce back strongly from the COVID-19 recession.

Through the 2021-22 Budget, the Morrison Government is also providing up to $30 million to support early works on Australian Industrial Power’s (AIP) Port Kembla power station project as it progresses to Final Investment Decision. The project will play a crucial role in reducing market volatility risks in NSW by supporting reliable electricity supply and keeping prices low. 

Progressing the AIP power station would also support the development of the Port Kembla import terminal, providing a key source of demand for imported gas. The Government will continue to work with AIP to fully assess the project and evaluate support through the Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program.

New gas supply and generation will help strengthen our economy and make energy more affordable for families and businesses, while complementing the world-leading levels of renewables in Australia.

Gas supports jobs in our important energy intensive industries that are the lifeblood of our economy and our regions.

Gas is a critical enabler of Australia’s economy and helps to support our manufacturing sector that employs over 900,000 Australians.

Media contact: Minister Taylor's office 02 6277 7120