Thursday, 16 July 2009

PLUG THE PIPE: North-South Pipeline Power Costs

Have received this from Networker Ellen who is active in the Plug the Pipe campaign


In its first year the North-South Pipeline is estimated to use 103,680 megawatt - hours of power at a cost of $8,229,600, based on the pumps operating continuously for 240 days to enable 75 billion litres (75GL) of water per year to be sent to Melbourne over the Great Divide. This is far in excess of Melbourne Water's estimate of $4.7 Million as outlined in the Essential Services Commission Report in April 2009 {The Weekly Times 29-4-2009}

It must be noted that the pipeline has been designed to have a maximum capacity of 100 billion litres per year, so the cost of power may be well in excess of $9 Million. Also the future expected carbon tax of $40 per tonne would add a whopping $6 million to the current estimated bill of $8 million giving an year electricity charge of $14 million p.a.

The Brumby Government initially gained approval for the N - S Pipeline by putting forward information to the Project Impact Assessment Hearing (April 2008) and consequently to Minister Garrett that renewable energy would be used for the pipeline.

Melbourne Water has made a commitment to source all of the energy for the Sugarloaf Pipeline Project from renewable energy sources, thus reducing these greenhouse gas emissions to net zero for the operational phase”- Appendix Q Greenhouse Gas Assessment, Page 7 PIA Report.

It is now quite obvious that the pipeline will not be powered by renewable energy and those annual greenhouse gas emissions, for the operational phase alone, will be in excess of 145,000 tonnes CO2 per year.

As well as this, the material phase emissions, which include emissions caused by processing of raw resources for manufacture and construction of the pipeline equals 200,000 tonnes of CO2.

The clearance of vegetation for the project equates to 7,480 tonnes CO2, and the actual construction phase, involving earthworks, vehicle and heavy transport usage adds up to 60,438 tonnes CO2. {Figures taken from Appendix Q, PIA Report Feb 2008 prepared by Sugarloaf Alliance}

The enormous magnitude of the cost of the North-South Pipeline to all Victorians economically, socially and environmentally is becoming more frightening with every passing day, particularly when it is blatantly obvious, that there is NO water available to send down the N-S Pipeline.

Goulburn-Murray Water last week released information showing the current water resource position on the Goulburn system. There is a massive shortfall of approximately 420 GL that must be found to meet existing commitments before any water can be sent to Melbourne.

To extract water via the N-S Pipeline, prior to this shortfall being made up, would be tantamount to theft from the environmental flows, desperate rural communities and from the entitlements of other licensees.

Jan Beer: Plug The Pipe Spokesperson Yea Group

Mob: 0407 144 777

Click to enlarge. If necessary C+++

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