Media release

Keeping Liddell open is not in the public interest

May 21, 2018


Environmental Justice Australia has welcomed AGL’s decision to turn down Alinta’s offer for the Liddell power station.

AGL’s Board today told the Australian Stock Exchange that the offer was not in the best interests of AGL or its shareholders.

“Environmental Justice Australia welcomes the AGL board’s decision to turn down Alinta’s bid for the 46-year-old Liddell coal-fired power station in the Hunter Valley,” said EJA researcher Dr James Whelan.

“AGL’s Board determined that Alinta’s offer was not in the company’s or its shareholders’ interests. Neither was it in the public interest.

“Alinta has a dreadful track record as a polluter.

“After Alinta’s Northern power station ceased operation in 2016, the plant’s ash dam dried out, resulting in toxic coal ash cloaking the nearby Port Augusta community.

“Alinta did not install best practice emission controls and exposed the community to excessive pollution.

“Each year, the Liddell power station emits 33.5 million kilograms of sulfur dioxide, 18.6 million kg of oxides of nitrogen and 183,000 kg of fine particle pollution (PM2.5).*

“When AGL closes Liddell in 2022, Hunter Valley communities will breathe cleaner air,” Dr Whelan said.

“Every time an old coal-fired power stations closes to be replaced by renewable energy, there’s an immediate health benefit to communities within 100 kilometres of the facility.

“Exposure to oxides of nitrogen (NOx) irritates eyes, nose, throat and lungs and leads to coughing, shortness of breath, tiredness and nausea. Even low levels of exposure are linked to asthma, reduced lung function and allergies. Coal-fired power stations produce 49% of Australia’s NOx emissions.”

* According to the National Pollutant Inventory 2016-17

More info: Read EJA’s major report on coal-fired power stations, Toxic and Terminal, released in August 2018.

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