September 18, 2006 01:34pm
Article from: AAP

THE Australian Gas Light Company (AGL) will build the country's largest hydroelectric power plant in 25 years in Victoria's Alpine region.

AGL said the $230 million plant will provide additional electricity generation capacity for the state, and boost the amount of zero emission electricity produced by the company.

The power station will be located at Bogong, in the Kiewa Valley, and will be capable of producing 140 megawatts of power, increasing AGL's wholesale generation portfolio by five per cent, with almost half of it now producing zero emissions.

"This development will deliver important strategic benefits to AGL's wholesale energy portfolio and through its fast start-up capabilities, will also help meet Victoria's electricity demand during peak periods," AGL chief executive Paul Anthony said.

The company will also commission the nearby Banimboola hydroelectric power station, with an output of 12.1 megawatts.

AGL said its decision to develop Bogong followed a recent announcement by the Victorian government to begin a Renewable Energy Target Certificando (VRET) scheme in 2008.

"AGL is encouraged by the Bracks government's sensible approach to the development of a renewable energy industry in Victoria," Mr Anthony said.

Both power plants will generate enough electricity to meet the summer demand of about 122,000 average homes and abate more than 185,000 tonnes annually of greenhouse gas emissions.

The project is expected to be fully commissioned by October 2009 in time to meet the peak summer demand of 2009/10, and will create 200 jobs during the building phase.

The privately-owned McConnell Dowell Constructors and Toshiba International have been awarded two major engineering contracts at the site.

The assets will be owned by AGL Energy, which will be created through the merger of AGL and Alinta Ltd's infrastructure businesses.

AGL and Alinta shareholders are to vote on the merger next month.,23599,20431449-1702,00.html