Energy Minister Ben Wyatt has confirmed the impending closure of Muja AB power station by September next year.
Synergy plans to retire two units at Muja AB on 30 September 2017, and the remaining two units will likely be retired in April 2018. The plans to reduce generation capacity were announced by the previous government in April 2016.
Mr Wyatt described the refurbishment of Muja power station was one of the ‘Liberal National Government's biggest debacles’.
Energy Minister Ben Wyatt said the Synergy board had made the decision to reduce generation capacity based on a number of critical factors.
These include minimising the impact to supply reliability and security in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS), optimising the commercial outcomes for the State and limiting the impact on jobs.
A total of 24 positions across the generation arm of the business will be impacted.
Synergy chief executive officer Jason Waters said the decision as to how best to comply with the direction was undertaken to reduce costs, ensure there was limited risk to supply security and minimise the impact on staff.
Other Synergy generating units at Muja Power Station and other Synergy sites will remain in operation in accordance with requirements.
Collie Shire President Wayne Sanford said whilst it is disappointing to have the closure of Muja A/B power stations it is not something that hasn’t been foreshadowed by the previous Liberal government and the new Labor government.
“The councils concern is the impact that these closures will have on employment particularly for those locally based employees and the flow on effect into the local economy,” he said.
“The council has been working extremely hard over the past 18 months to develop an economic plan for Collie. The Re-Imagining Collie Economic Plan identifies a diverse range of opportunities to broaden the economic base of Collie.
“One of the key areas of focus in the plan is the importance of maintaining Collie as an energy generating hub primarily because of the extensive investment of the state in the transmission network.
“The time for developing strategies to enable a diversification of Collie’s economic base is now and this will need resource and commitment.”