Water Week

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Pulp mill planned for southeast SA will require 189MW/yr: more electricity than giant Olympic Dam mine, say Greens

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

A controversial pulp mill planned for South Australia’s southeast would require more electricity than the giant Olympic Dam mine, the Greens claimed, wrote Nick Henderson in The Advertiser (25/9/2007, p.11).

Avoiding scrutiny: A document released under Freedom of Information laws showed the Penola pulp mill’s owner, Protavia, has asked the government to provide up to 189 megawatts of electricity each year. The Olympic Dam mine at Roxby Downs used between 105 and 115 megawatts each year. The government introduced a special Bill to fast-track the $1.5 billion pulp mill. It would allow Protavia to avoid scrutiny normally applied to major developments. Despite widespread criticism of the mill’s environmental impact, the Bill has been passed in the Lower House, with the support of the Liberal Opposition and was expected to gain final approval in the Upper House this week.

Huge electricity-use: Greens MLC Mark Parnell said the amount of electricity required was equivalent to the amount used by almost 70 per cent of Adelaide households. “Overwhelmingly, this is a fossil fuel-powered pulp mill and the greenhouse emissions will be absolutely staggering.”

Opposition ok with it: Opposition Forests spokesperson Mitch Williams said he expected the amount of electricity required would be high but he had not heard a compelling argument as to why the project should not proceed. “They will provide an opportunity to value-add to a resource which is already in the ground and growing in the local area and in doing so, substantially increase the value of the resource before it is exported,” Williams said.

The Advertiser, 25/9/2007, p. 11

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