Analysis and Commentary

Labor to convert Kurri Kurri gas plant to hydrogen

Analysis and Commentary

By Peter Roberts

Labor has found a way to both support the construction of a gas-fired power station at Kurri Kurri in New South Wales and burnish its green credentials, according to media reports.

Channel 9 media has reported Labor leader Anthony Albanese and climate and energy spokesman Chris Bowen will travel to Kurri Kurri today to announce the plan, which is aimed at avoiding any loss of votes in the coal-centred Hunter area.

The federal government-owned Snowy Hydro is building a 660 megawatt gas power station, with the Labor leaders reported to support the plant, with the proviso it would be converted to use 100 per cent green hydrogen.

The Hunter region has ambitious plans to become a green hydrogen production and export hub to replace today’s reliance on coal exports, so the hydrogen would likely be available for local use.

In fact Labor’s plan is not all that radical.

According to the Snowy Hydro website the power station will comprise two heavy-duty, open cycle gas turbines (OCGT) that will operate on natural gas.

However the turbines will be ‘hydrogen-ready’.

Snowy Hydro says: “This means the OCGTs will be capable of running initially on up to 10 per cent hydrogen and with some minor additional investment they will be capable of up to 30 per cent, subject to fuel logistics.”

However it does get Labor out of trouble in the Hunter, which is apparently what election campaigning is all about.

Picture: Snowy Hydro

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