EnergyAustralia today called for expressions of interest in reusing or developing the decommissioned Wallerawang power station and its associated infrastructure, located about 150km from Sydney near Lithgow. Maree Statham, Mayor of Lithgow City Council, welcomed the move, which she said had the potential to attract new investment, create jobs and boost the regional economy.
“The site has great potential as a major business park. A number of existing buildings there could be repurposed for a variety of uses including large-scale manufacturing,” Ms Statham said.
“This is a great opportunity for businesses to put forward their vision for how the Wallerawang site could be given a new lease of life for the benefit of the community,” she said.
The 1000MW Wallerawang power station was bought by EnergyAustralia in 2013. It was closed in 2014 due to declining demand for centralised electricity.
The 80 hectare site has well-established concrete roads and landscaping and is fully-serviced with electricity (including capacity for high-voltage connection), water, sewerage and communications. Some buildings have fire services installed. There are also heavy-lift crane facilities, a private railway siding connected to the main western railway and ample open space for new buildings.
EnergyAustralia is seeking expressions of interest to redevelop the site so it may be put to alternate, productive and long-term use or uses. The process is open from 1 July and expressions are due by 15 August 2016. If viable alternate uses for the site are identified, EnergyAustralia hopes to have agreement(s) in place by the end of the year.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole called on businesses throughout the region, New South Wales, Australia and internationally to put forward strong proposals for the site’s future use.
“The old Wallerawang site is an important asset to the area and I hope it can be put to good use in kick-starting a new era of investment for Lithgow and the wider region,” Mr Toole said.
“Its location between the greater central west and Sydney means that the scope for potential use is broad – the creation of jobs and growth for our region is certainly a welcome one,” he said.
Mark Collette, Head of EnergyAustralia’s Energy business, said expressions of interest would be assessed against criteria including economic benefits for the region, logistical viability and compatibility with ongoing rehabilitation works.
“We expect to hear from a number of interested parties attracted by a range of factors, particularly the site’s location,” Mr Collette said. “Lithgow is a gateway to the Sydney Basin, ideally positioned to national and state transport links.
“The Wallerawang site itself is prime real estate and should be an option for any businesses looking at expansion opportunities. We’re seeking an outcome that’s good for the community, a new business proponent and EnergyAustralia.”