Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry preparing submission to support upgrade at nearby Bayswater Power Station

MCCI backs power station improvements

THE Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) is preparing a submission to support an upgrade to the nearby Bayswater Power Station.

AGL Macquarie Pty Ltd (AGL Macquarie) recently lodged a proposed State Significant Development (SSD-9697) application with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for the work to be undertaken at the coal-fired facility.

The project involves upgrades to the existing Bayswater Power Station water management and other associated operational works, including the following components:

  • Ash dam augmentation including water management upgrades;
  • Coal handling plant upgrades - including water and waste management;
  • Ash harvesting upgrades - including increasing coal ash recycling production;
  • Ravensworth ash line - construction and operation of a new coal ash pipeline to the Ravensworth mine;
  • Salt cake landfill - construction and operation of a new salt cake landfill facility;
  • Borrow Pits - construction and operation of borrow pits;
  • Ancillary works - including pipeline replacement and vegetation clearing for maintenance of infrastructure; and
  • Consolidation and surrender of specified existing consents.

It was announced in December, 2019, that AGL Macquarie would spend $80 million on maintenance at the Bayswater and Liddell power stations to ensure they were able to meet peak demand during summer.

The work is part of a $150 million investment by the company across its key energy assets.

Liddell Power Station is slated to shutdown in 2023, with the adjoining Bayswater to close in 2035.

"This is an important development application (DA)," MCCI president Mike Kelly said.

"We'll formulate our submission to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, while local businesses are also encouraged to make one on their own behalf.

"The public exhibition period ends on July 31 - and MCCI intends to complete its proposal by July 24.

"The chamber would welcome copies of those [local business] submissions or any information that members suggest for inclusion in the MCCI submission.

"Responses can be sent to info@muswellbrookchamber.com.au"

A spokesperson for the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment said due to the nature and scale of the Bayswater proposal, it was classified as a State Significant Development under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

"This means the consent authority for the project is the NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces or the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) of NSW, rather than the local council," he explained.

"AGL Macquarie has also submitted a detailed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to support its development application.

"So, the department will publicly exhibit the EIS until Thursday, July 30."

You can view a hard copy of the document at Muswellbrook Shire Council at 157 Maitland Street, Muswellbrook, and Singleton Council at 12-14 Queen Street, Singleton, during the exhibition period, too.