Category Archives: Resources

Monash Forum triggers Liddell lies & misinformation

It is positive for our electricity grid and power prices that a group of Govt MP’s has spoken the unspeakable and suggested building a new coal fired power station.
However that seems premature right now.
Closing Hazelwood has more than doubled the Vic AEMO wholesale price and has made Vic prices now the most expensive of the three big coal burning States. Comparing Jul-Dec2016 prices to Apr2017-Mar2018.
The elephant in the room right now is securing the normal operation and maintenance of Liddell past 2022.
The owners of Liddell are AGL who have only a nominal valuation on Liddell and clearly can not be relied upon to maintain it properly. The Govt could buy Liddell but it is a lame duck and if they needed to pass anything through the senate probably could not do that. Alinta and Delta are expressing interest in buying Liddell but AGL is saying it wants Liddell.
Around that issue the lies and misinformation need to be waded through and sorted.
One issue is I think there is zero chance AGL could replace the 1800MW of Liddell by 2022.
Something needs to be put in place soon to get Liddell off AGL because we will have a new Labor Govt by the end of 2019 the way polls are heading. Labor will not stop AGL shutting Liddell and the nation will be further harmed as prices will be pushed higher as they were when Hazelwood closed.
We were lucky last summer heat waves were moderate, few and usually on weekends so resulting price spikes were not severe. As we leave summer heat price spikes behind the Govt has the best chance to keep talking up gas supplies and talking down electricity prices but they seem so confused – for example thinking that massive spending on Snowy 2.0 will somehow lower prices.

An audio reminder of WA Inc from the 1980’s

In recent years the stellar career of NSW Labor “Main Man” Eddie Obeid over three decades has tended to dazzle aficionados of Govt. corruption in Australia. However we must not forget that at about the same time in the 1980’s that Eddie Obeid was an up and coming Labor figure; Perth enjoyed a flowering of corrupt Govt. and business leaders known now as “WA Inc”. In a distant age I downloaded audio files of phone taps from the WA Corruption and
Crime Commission(CCC) – there is much to smile at as the various corrupt eager beavers share their adventures. Remember too that the Julia Gillard/Bruce Wilson AWU scandal birthed while WA Inc was still a very fresh memory.

Must read Fairfax story on NSW resources industry

The minister the money and the mine. How a rotten deal was hatched – If journalists know of any unlawful acts by anybody then they should report those to the police. I see that half way down the article switches to the buying of a SA winery by Chinese interests and touches on the leasing of Darwin Port to a Chinese group which should never have been approved by Govt. Can I just mention that the NSW Resources Dept has this www page under “Investors” detailing a wide range of projects where the owners/explorers are open to Joint Venture or outright sale. So any company asking the Resources Dept or Minister about buying “…any metal mine (gold, iron, etc.) As long as the exploration is done…” should have been pointed to the above www page – simple.
Of course once you have read the first half of this story re NSW resources – spare a few moments to think about the experience of Shenhua who in 2008 bought a coal orebody from the NSW Govt and a decade later still are little closer to having a mine despite spending a lazy ~$Bn. So what big Chinese – or any other nationality – resource group would go near NSW without counting their fingers very carefully? I blogged twice on Shenhua.

Record daily wholesale electricity price for Victoria in Adelaide-Melbourne heat

The AEMO daily price for 18Jan18 for South Australia was $1,074 per MWhr which was the highest since $1,492.16 on 8Feb17 no surprise there. But Victoria yesterday recorded a stunning $905.22 which is 4.6 times the previous highest of $195.67 on 10Feb17. You can toggle between SA & Vic at this AEMO page and also choose between 30min and 5min price views. Then the NEM Dispatch Overview.
This record Vic price clearly reflects reduced generation post the closure of Hazelwood.
A couple of charts from the GridPublicKnowledge www pages for SA and Vic gives an idea what was happening yesterday with our stressed power grid. NemWatch gives a snapshot of generation sources.

and Vic

I also kept the SA screen for the 17th. Similar heat is forecast for Adelaide and Melbourne today but a late cool change is due which should be earliest in SA. I understand this heat is moving into NSW and Penrith has 40 forecast for today through to Monday. Will try and follow the effect of this on the NEM.

Electricity AEMO wholesale prices good news

This Christmas-New Year there has not been a huge synchronised price hike across the eastern States like there was last year – that is the good news. With a hot weekend on us gas prices have spiked – PM should pick up the phone again. The general decline in prices after summer demand passed has been helped by the PM and Ministers yakking the subject but they need to keep talking this year. Good news could be improved if the Feds took over Liddell to ensure that asset could be productive for as long as economically possible in the national interest. Not remaining a plaything of the interest of AGL.
A puzzling feature of my price chart is that tiddler Tasmania with all their hydro is so often the price pusher – why is this so? My suspicion is that the answer is related to their monster hydro debt but whatever – they should be put back in their box. AEMO and NemWatch – Large version chart.

ANAO torpedoes Kevin Rudd’s Clean Coal & CCS after $450Mill spent

We canned “CCS” years ago when it was deserved. Video memories and Puzzle of the missing cap rock But it is interesting that near a decade after Kev747 kicked off his Global CCS Institute – CO2 from Vic coal fired electricity (CarbonNet Project) apparently can not be pumped into nearby empty oil and gas reservoirs in Bass Strait where there must be many pipelines and wells already in place. What the hell do public servants do?
CO2 can be pumped into mature petroleum wells to maximise recovery – EOR = Enhanced Oil Recovery. Google – enhanced oil recovery (eor) techniques – Aust. Nat. Audit Office report scroll down here to 12 Dec 17
More info on CCS projects check out the Road Map.

Celebrations in Riyadh as Saudi oil pumping pays off

Three years ago I posted – Saudis oil pumping crashes oil price kneecapping the Iranian economy – how do the Teheran Mullahs pay to build those nukes now? – Patience and resolve pays off the BBC reports – Iran cities hit by anti-government protests – A BBC Persian investigation has found that Iranians, on average, have become 15% poorer in the past 10 years alone.

Many believe that money that should be used to improve their lives is being spent by Iran’s leaders on conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. Billions are also being spent on spreading religious propaganda and Shia Islam around the world.