AGL boss in Canberra for power chat

The federal government will try again to convince AGL boss Andy Vesey to keep one of the energy company’s coal-fired power stations operating.


Mr Vesey will be in Canberra on Monday for the meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg.

The government wants AGL to keep its Liddell power station in NSW online beyond 2022 – or sell it – after the energy market operator said it needed to stay open for the stability of the electricity system.

“The reality is AGL relies heavily on coal … AGL get about 85 per cent of their power generation from coal,” Mr Frydenberg told Sky News on Sunday.

Mr Vesey has previously said AGL is getting out of coal and Liddell would close in five years time when its operating life ends.


The company said they had advised its closure in April 2015 to avoid the volatility created by the sudden exit from the National Electricity Market of other coal-fired power stations.

“Keeping old coal plants open won’t deliver the reliable, affordable energy our customers need,” he tweeted last week.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten accused Mr Turnbull of trying to shift the blame for the country’s energy problem.

“We are in the midst of an energy crisis and it’s inconceivable Malcolm Turnbull is refusing to pull the gas export control trigger,” he said in a statement.

Mr Shorten said Mr Turnbull’s government has had four years to come up with a solution and the buck stopped with him.

“If he doesn’t fix this crisis as he’s promised, Australians will have every right to blame Malcolm Turnbull for each and every blackout this summer.”