Labor’s $500 million hydrogen power plant black hole

06 Sep 2021

Labor Leader Peter Malinauskas must abandon his white elephant hydrogen power plant after State Government analysis revealed the policy was riddled with basic errors and had a blackhole of at least $500 million dollars in its costings.

Labor’s policy promises to spend $31 million on a storage facility for liquid hydrogen but fails to include the $310 million cost of the expensive equipment required to liquefy hydrogen at negative 253 degrees celsius.

“It’s staggering Peter Malinauskas would release a signature policy so riddled with errors that it was missing key components,” said Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“Labor’s policy includes a storage facility for liquefied hydrogen that’s ten times larger than for the rockets at Cape Canaveral, but incredibly the calculations don’t include the enormous cost of the energy-hungry plant needed to convert hydrogen from a gas to a liquid.

“The failure to budget for more than $310 million for hydrogen liquefaction isn’t the only costing error in the policy. The other elements are likely to cost well over another $160 million more than Labor has budgeted, according to the best and brightest at the CSIRO and US Department of Energy.”

“Labor’s half-baked policy would cost more than $1.06 billion, even before factoring in land, grid connection, and project development. All up, it’s likely to cost double their $593 million estimate.”

Expert costings for hydrogen projects are publicly available through the CSIRO’s GenCost Report and the Hydrogen Export Modelling Tool, which verified costings from the CSIRO and the US Department of Energy’s Energy Intelligence Unit with the original equipment manufacturers.

“All the best expert advice that Labor needed to cost its policy is publicly available online, from the smartest minds in Australia and the world,” said Minister van Holst Pellekaan.

“Peter Malinauskas is proposing to spend more than a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money on a white elephant power plant that, by his own admission, won’t save households a dollar on their bills.

“Labor has form when it comes to hiding the true costs of their energy failures, so it’s no surprise that SA Labor has refused to release the costings and the model for scrutiny.

“Labor claimed the nine dirty diesel generators it purchased before the last state election would cost taxpayers less than $360 million – the true cost was an outrageous $612 million.

“Peter Malinauskas must come clean and outline what cuts to frontline services he’ll make to cover the more than $1 billion of taxpayers’ money that he wants to spend on an electricity generator which he says won’t make electricity cheaper for South Australians.”