Tasmania turns to gas power during drought

APR Energy has signed a contract with Hydro Tasmania to install and operate three clean-burning dual-fuel gas turbines.

Lou Caruana

The mobile power plant will supplement existing generation capability and help Tasmania mitigate the detrimental impacts of prolonged drought on its hydropower output and the inability to import electricity from mainland Australia due to failure of an undersea power cable.

The plant is expected to be operational in early May, and will enable Hydro Tasmania to continue to provide secure electricity supply to its customers.

APR Energy's aeroderivative fuel flexible turbines will use water injection to further reduce emissions. The turbines will produce 93% less nitrogen oxide than a typical high-speed diesel reciprocating engine – resulting a reduction of NOx emissions of 8,017 tonnes by diesel reciprocating engines on an annualized basis to 532t of NOx emissions.

The power-dense turbines require approximately one-third of the space needed for an equivalent-output plant using diesel reciprocating engines, and they generate approximately 20% less noise, APR Energy CEO John Campion said.

“We are pleased to be able to provide Hydro Tasmania with a low-emission power solution in just two months as they work to ensure reliable electricity supply for Tasmanian households and business customers,” he said.

“Our mobile turbines offer numerous advantages for environmentally conscious customers and developed markets with stringent regulatory controls such as Tasmania and the rest of Australia.”