Up to 80 jobs axed as long awaited cuts at Collie’s coal-fired generation Muja finally revealed
The long-awaited cuts in Collie’s coal-fired power generation will begin with the closure of two near 40-year-old Muja C units and the loss of up to 80 jobs.
Premier Mark McGowan this afternoon spoke to workers at Muja, that is owned by the State’s electricity generator and retailer Synergy.
Mr McGowan said keeping the two ageing generators operating would have led to higher energy bills and an unstable electricity supply.
One unit will be retired from October 2022 and the other two years later.
The first retirement will affect about 30 workers and the second about 40 to 50.
The two units were only in use about 35 per cent of the time and their closure would allow the remaining Muja D units to operate more efficiently.
Coal-fired power will continue to come from the Muja D, Collie and Bluewaters power stations.
Synergy chief executive Jason Waters said the decision to retire the units was a reflection of the changing face of the energy market in the South West.
"The generation market is continuing to evolve, introducing greater levels of residential solar power and large-scale renewable generation, and this is displacing the demand for traditional coal-fired baseload power," he said.
Mr McGowan said it no longer made sense to keep the Muja C units operational.
“They are expensive to run, and demand for electricity from the units is declining dramatically,” he said.
In a statement the Government said keeping the units open would have added $350 million to power bills.
Mr McGowan said he understood this was a significant issue for the workers and the Collie community and they deserved support and certainty going forward.
“We will be working closely with Synergy to ensure all workers impacted by the closure will be supported,” he said.
The Government has appointed a specialist coal advisory team to work with stakeholders to ensure the stability of the Collie Basin.
To attract new industries to Collie the State Government will establish a Collie-based Industry Attraction Team to attract investment.
A $60 million Industry Attraction and Development Fund for large-scale initiatives has been set up in addition to the existing $20 million Collie Futures Fund.
“We are absolutely committed to Collie’s future,” Mr McGowan said.
“More announcements will be made soon.”
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