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BHP Billiton and Other Large Firms Demand Government to Fix SA Energy

As reported by the AFR: BHP Billiton and other large companies demanded the government to take fast action to fix South Australia’s energy problems before they hurt investment after the state suffered its second power outage in two months.

BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mackenzie furiously said that the second failure of the state’s fragile and high-priced electricity network left the prized Olympic Dam mine without power for more than 4 hours last Thursday morning.

Mackenzie said that the dam’s latest outage shows Australia’s instability and jobs are placed in danger by the policy failure in reducing emissions and making it secure, affordable, dispatchable and uninterrupted power. He also said that it was a wake-up call to the Australian Government.

State and federal leaders and energy ministers meet under COAG’s auspices in the next 2 weeks to review long-term solutions like new gas plants, batteries and interconnectors. The latest outage will surely put pressure for short-term solutions as summer peak demands mount, which poses an increased risk of power shortages.

The power outage affected 200,000 households and came as Victorian homes and small businesses were warned by retailers that they would face electricity price hikes between 10%-13.4% next year because coal-fired power plants are being closed down due to solar and wind power.

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