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Can’t afford a house? Well maybe you could settle for a power station!

As I’ve pointed out before, the business section of the paper is more reliable when it comes to getting information. I’m not suggesting that the opinions in the business section are any better, just that, when it comes to money, people are more upset when the media gets its facts wrong.

Anyway, as I doubt that any of you unemployed, left-wing tree-huggers would have found time to read “The Australian Financial Review” in between cycling from your lattes to the latest protest, I thought I better point out this article to you:

NSW government sells Vales Point power station for $1m

OK, if you don’t have the time to read it because you’re worried that your latte will get cold, the two important bits are these:

  1. The article begins by telling us how cheap the power station was. In spite of it being one of the largest coal fired power stations in NSW, I could have probably crowd-sourced enough money to put down a deposit, if I’d promised that we’d shut it down. “Two investors have bought one of NSW’s largest coal-fired power stations for the price of a nice suburban house.Brisbane-based energy consultant Trevor St Baker and coal baron Brian Flannery paid the princely sum of $1 million to the NSW government for the Vales Point Power Station.”
  2. The article also had the following little titbit of information: “Though cleaner than Victoria’s brown coal plants, in the absence of a carbon price black coal plants are being squeezed out of the National Electricity Market by brown coal and renewable energy because its marginal operating costs are higher.” (emphasis added”)

The fact that a large coal-fired power station only brings a million bucks when sold suggests that they’re aren’t a lot of people out there who think that this a great investment opportunity. However, I think the second point is the more interesting after Malcolm Turnbull’s comments about our coal being the “cleanest in the world” (What – we wash it and then we put it in the spin?). So, in this country the absence of a carbon price is squeezing “clean” black coal out of the market.

Well, it’s good that someone saved the company then and aims to keep the power station alive. There may be a future for black coal yet. As one of the buyers said they’ve got lots of experience in the industry and they’re confident they can turn the losses around, saving oodles of jobs. Well, for now anyway, because he also made this rather interesting little comment:

“We are aiming for at least seven years [of operation] if coal-fired power generation continues to be required in NSW,”

If? I thought coal was meant to be the major party of the energy mix for the next fifty years.



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  1. Douglas Pye

    ….. the property is probably a pretty good buy at the price, considering the land size and potential for housing development ! … further investigation may reveal some interesting ” stuff ” …..

  2. king1394

    Yes; expect to see a resort rise from the ashes (literally) at this beautiful Lake Macquarie location

  3. Chris the Greatly Dismayed

    “Goldman Sachs, Baker & McKenzie and KPMG advised the government on the sale of the generators and retired public servant Kerry Schott oversaw the process.”

  4. gangey1959

    There was some additional stuff in the AFR about 300ish? jobs, which were obviously going to end up in in sales and construction, but I must admit I was a bit disappointed with the price. There are nearly 1 million of me and my leaner mates on newstart. I reckon I could have scraped together $5 to become an 1/millionth shareholder. I’m sure I would have at least doubled my dollars on that.
    You bugger Rossleigh. The powers that be must have read your mind, and gone for your 15% “support the rich” scheme instead.
    I’ll just have to wait until they decide wher they are going to dump all of those spent reactor rods. I’ll maker a killing……….

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