Michael Hutchinson, a director at Tru Energy, Mayor Paul Pisasale and John Deans, development manager at Swanbank Enterprise Park, announce the building of a new gas power station.
Michael Hutchinson, a director at Tru Energy, Mayor Paul Pisasale and John Deans, development manager at Swanbank Enterprise Park, announce the building of a new gas power station. Claudia Baxter

Ipswich is powering ahead

A $1.8 BILLION 1500 megawatt gas-fired power station will be built on the 500 hectare Swanbank Enterprise Park in Ipswich.

Premier Anna Bligh and leading energy company TRUenergy yesterday announced a multi-billion investment in two new gas fired power stations.

The stations will be developed in Ipswich and Gladstone and will be powered with gas from the State's south west gas fields.

The Premier made the announcement yesterday in State Parliament.

"This investment, worth up to $3.6 billion, will mean more than 2000 jobs in construction from early 2013 and will increase the State's overall electricity generation capacity by 20 per cent," Ms Bligh said.

"It is also the first major investment in energy since the carbon price was passed and that shows that gas can compete in a carbon-priced economy.

"The stations will be where we forecast our highest population growth in the western corridor and our greatest industrial growth in Gladstone at the centre of our new LNG exporting industry.

These stations will plug us all in to a future that is brighter than anything in our history and investments like this from TRUenergy are just the start of what is on the horizon for our State."

The Premier said TRUenergy had started the development application process for the two high-efficiency gas-fired power stations.

The power stations will be developed in stages with 500MW produced initially with a total capacity of up to 1500MW each depending on demands.

The Ipswich power station will be on Swanbank Enterprise Park, near the Swanbank B coal fired power station which will close next April.

Mayor Paul Pisasale thanked TRUenergy for choosing Ipswich as it was "the logical location for the expansion of power generating capacity in the south-east given the history of the Swanbank area".

"This is tremendous news which comes hot on the heels of the August announcement by international giant Holcim to construct a massive concrete pipe plant nearby," Cr Pisasale said.

"Rehabilitation of this former coal mining land has already begun and the new power station will be a vital part of transforming this vast area into a modern business and industry park capable of supporting up to 15,000 jobs when fully developed.

"Our city has moved from a coalmine to a goldmine when it comes to creating new jobs."

He said the council would continue to work with the owners and managers of Swanbank Enterprise Park, Australian property group Investa, to attract business and industry to Ipswich.

"A master plan is already in place for Swanbank. This will assist with final council approvals before construction can begin on stage one of the power station in the first quarter of 2013," he said.

"Ipswich has the majority of available industrial land in south-east Queensland and this second major development at Swanbank marks yet another significant achievement."

Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller told the Queensland Times she was delighted to hear the Premier's announcement.

"I've been a very strong advocate for another power station at Swanbank for many years," Mrs Miller said. "Once again Ipswich maintains its strong connection to power generation."


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