CS Energy denies rumours of power station closure
THE company behind one of Central Queensland's Callide B power station has slammed rumours the facility is about to close and result in 300 job losses.
CS Energy acting chief Marcus McAuliffe said Callide B Power Station, near Biloela, generated 1630 megawatts of coal-fired electricity and was a major part of the company's portfolio.
He said the station employed the largest proportion of the company's workforce and there was "no truth" to rumours the Electrical Trades Union had heard.
Mr McAuliffe said making sure the power station is performing at its best was critical to CS Energy's future success.
"CS Energy is operating in a highly competitive and challenging electricity market," Mr McAuliffe said.
"We continue to invest in maintenance and upgrades to our power stations, including the Callide Power Station.
"CS Energy recently completed the overhaul of one of the generating units at Callide B Power Station, and an overhaul of one of the Callide C Power Station generating units is currently underway."
ETU state organiser Jason Young said the rumours had surfaced through companies buying power station by-products, such as fly-ash.
He said he had received information that concreting companies, which use the fly-ash in concreting mixes, had sought to increase supply from two other power stations in the area, citing Callide B's closure as the reason.
Mr Young said the union feared the government was preparing the energy sector for asset sales by making them attractive for the market.
He said he sought "urgent talks" with the State Government - particularly Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle who is a CS Energy shareholder - because closing Callide B would impact the electricity price for consumers.
"When you take electricity out of the market it will only drive costs to the consumer up," he said.
State secretary Peter Simpson said the government needed to "come clean" about what it was planning and implementing.
"There are too many things happening for this to be coincidental, 1000 jobs to go across Ergon and Energex and now Tarong and if our sources are correct Callide B," he said.
"This has a headcount target all over it similar to the attack on the public sector."
A spokeswoman from the minister's office said the ETU had made no contact and no request for a meeting.