Australia’s Origin Energy said it has lodged an “Initial Advice Statement” with the Queensland state government seeking ‘significant project’ designation for its proposed high efficiency natural gas fired power station.


In a statement, Tony Wood, the company’s general manager for public and government affairs, said:


“This represents a further step in the process of gaining development approval for the power station project we are considering near Roma in central Queensland.”


In October, managing director Grant King had indicated Origin Energy’s interest to build the plant


He said: “Origin’s recent discoveries in the Otway Basin and significant gas reserves in south east Queensland provide an opportunity to develop least cost natural gas-fired power stations that minimise environmental impacts, diversify the generation fuel mix in the National Electricity Market and enhance system reliability and security.”


Subject to all regulatory and government approvals and a final investment decision, Origin said plans to build in two stages, a nominal 1000 MW gas fired power station adjacent to a new gas processing plant currently under construction as part of the Spring Gully coal seam gas development. The site lies 80 km north of Roma in the Durham Downs area of central Queensland.


The power plant is expected to employ around 30 people when it is operating, which is additional to the 50 people who will be employed at the new gas processing plant.


Mr Wood said: “The next steps in gaining development approval for the power station include the preparation of an Environmental Impact Study and ongoing community consultation, a process which is expected to take up to 18 months. If development approval is obtained and Origin decides to proceed at that time, construction would take approximately a further two years – in time to meet the currently forecast demand for extra electricity generation capacity.”


In October, Origin also announced that it was seeking development approval for a similar power station project in western Victoria, where recent natural gas discoveries in the Otway Basin provide an opportunity to develop gas-fired power in that state.