Sydney, 12 May (Argus) — US aluminium producer Alcoa will close its 156MW coal-fired Anglesea power station and nearby Anglesea brown coal mine in the Australian state of Victoria after it failed to find a buyer.
Alcoa put the power station and coal mine up for sale in February last year when it announced that it would close the associated 180,000 t/yr Point Henry aluminium smelter. The power plant supplied 40pc of Point Henry's electricity needs.
The loss of large industrial power consumers, like Point Henry, has put further downwards pressure on electricity prices and demand in Australia.
The National Electricity Market covering east Australia has surplus capacity of 7,500MW based on electricity demand for the 2014-15 fiscal year ending 30 June, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator (Aemo). This equates to about 15pc of installed capacity of 50,289MW, based on Aemo estimates.
Brown coal emits more pollutants than black coal and is of lower calorific value, so it is not exported because it is not economically viable. It is used in power plants in Victoria but in no other Australian states.