Genex Power looks to be closing in on a power purchase agreement for its Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro), with News Ltd papers reporting that a deal was imminent, “within days.”
Genex has been looking for an off-take partner for its 250MW K2-Hydro project, which will have eight hours of storage, after a deal with EnergyAustralia deal came apart at the start of November.
The ASX-listed company confirmed earlier this month that it was still in talks with key stakeholders on the project, including EnergyAustralia and the federal and state governments.
The project has backing from the federal government’s North Australia Infrastructure Facility, and from Japanese energy giant J-Power, pending the successful signing of a new off-take agreement.
A Queensland media report on Monday said a resolution on the scheme’s power supply agreement with Energy Australia was “understood to be close.”
The report also noted that Queensland deputy premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad was applying pressure to the federal government for its role in supporting the project, via the up to $610 million NAIF loan – the offer of which has been extended to June 30.
“In September last year the Palaszczuk government made it clear we are ready to roll on Kidston, with a $132 million commitment through our state-owned transmission company Powerlink to connect Kidston to the National Electricity Market,” Trad said.
“Unlike NAIF, that money is not a loan – it’s cold hard cash for Powerlink to connect Kidston to the grid, to get the power pumping.
“This is a project that would deliver 500 jobs during the first two years of construction, and 30 permanent operational jobs.
“Adding 250MW of renewable energy to the grid would support more jobs in more industries in Townsville and other centres,” Trad was quoted as saying.
“What we need now is for the federal government to get its act together and create some certainty around this project for the people and businesses of North Queensland.”
The report said federal resources minister Keith Pitt had reassured the Queensland government that his department fully supported “any major project like Kidston,” and that it was working with Genex through the process.
“A NAIF loan has already been approved for the Genex project and the offer period has been extended to give the company every opportunity to proceed with the proposal,” Pitt said.
“North Queensland will be better served with all levels of government working together. I am looking to deliver more projects, not less, more jobs and a stronger economy for Northern Australia.”
Genex declined to comment.