Millmerran Power proposes coal mine expansion, extending station lifespan

Millmerran Power is pursuing EPBC approval to expand its Western Queensland coal mine and prolong the life of its coal power station to 2056, just days after the landmark inclusion of emissions reduction in Australia’s National Energy Objective.

Millmerran Power proposes to unearth an additional 4 megatonnes of coal every year solely for burning at Millmerran Power Station, extending the life of the mine by 20 years. The proposal would allow 170 Mt of CO2 to be released across the life of the mine, more than Queensland’s total emissions for the year of 2020. 

The company’s proposal comes despite agreement from Energy Ministers to add emission reduction to national electricity planning, a signal that coal-fired power plants will become increasingly unviable

“Corporate appetite for coal power has been dwindling for years and just as Australian Governments catch up, Millmerran Power is pushing to extend the life of its station beyond 2050," said QCC Director Dave Copeman.

“Millmerran’s current mine lifespan to 2036 is already out of line with keeping warming below 1.5 degrees. Expanding the mine by 4 Mt every year for 20 years up to 2056 would be a climate disaster and undermine any effort toward Net Zero by 2050.

“Expanding coal power beyond 2030 is not only damaging to our Reef, climate and ecosystems, it would further damage Australia’s international reputation. A coal station operating after 2050 is climate madness. 

The mine is also dangerously close to koala habitat and other listed species like the Squatter Pigeon. Expanding climate-wrecking coal on important habitats is a reckless decision, especially in a market making signals for decreasing demand.

“Millmerran Power needs to read the writing on the wall. Australia is increasing plans to cut emissions so extending the life of coal power is not just a serious climate risk, it’s economically infeasible.

“We’re deeply concerned that Millmerran Power’s proposal will seek to use the false promise of Carbon Capture and Storage, to claim they can keep mining and burning coal without emissions. This technology has repeatedly failed in real-world instances, is uneconomical, and it’s primarily used as a figleaf to allow fossil fuel companies to continue to pollute."  

Media Contact: Dave Copeman 0408 841 595