The part owner of a relatively new Queensland coal generator has been put into administration after being unable to refinance its debt facilities.
InterGen Callide, an offshoot of the major US generation company InterGen that owns a half share of the 810MW Callide C generators in central Queensland, has been placed into the hands of receivers Ferrier Hodgson.
The joint venture partner in the coal plant, the Queensland government owned CS Energy, says it is unaffected by the move and insists that the plant will continue to operate as normal, with no job losses.
Callide C is one of the biggest single generators in the state and forms part of the 1.5GW callide complex. Intergen, which also owns the Milmerran power station, boasts on its web site that the coal plants are two of the most modern and efficient in the country.
“Our two facilities are the continent’s most advanced supercritical facilities,” the company says on its web site. The Callide C coal plant, a “supercritical” coal generator deemed more efficient than most of Australia’s coal generators, was opened in 2001. It was the first supercritical plant to be operated in Australia.
However, CS Energy pointed to issues with its Callide venture in last year’s annual report, pointing to “several legacy commercial issues relating to fuel supply to the Callide Power Station, an onerous contract with Gladstone Power Station and high debt levels and associated interest expenses.”
It said that the Callide Power Station coal supply agreements continued to place downward pressure on earnings, and planned and unplanned outages at the Callide power station affected output.
The issues appear to with the supplier, Anglo American, and CS Energy said it had taken action in the Supreme Court in 2014/15 to “enforce and defend the coal supply agreements.” One of the main mines supplying Callide C was reportedly unprofitable and was sold by Anglo American earlier this year.
Ferrier Hodgson was due to issue a statement on Friday but it had not been received by publication.
CS energy later released a statement that said IG Callide had been placed into the hands of administrators PPB Advisory on June 14, and then placed into receivership on the same day. Ferrier Hodgson now act as the receivers and managers of InterGen’s interest in Callide C Power Station.