September 28, 2016

Toxic air pollution from AGL’s Bayswater power station soars

SYDNEY, Wednesday 28 September 2016:  As AGL Energy holds its annual general meeting in Sydney today, new analysis from the National Pollutant Inventory reveals that toxic emissions from AGL’s Bayswater coal plant have increased since the company took over the ailing generator in September 2014.

Read the data here.

Comparing 2013-14 emission levels from Bayswater to the most recent figures of 2014-15, sulphur dioxide, hydrochloric acid, fine particle pollution (PM2.5) and mercury emissions all rose in both total emissions, and intensity per megawatt generated.

“It’s startling to see how significantly the air pollution from Bayswater has risen in the year AGL took control. It really undermines AGL’s marketing as a clean and green company,” said Josh Creaser, campaigner. “These toxic emissions are risky for workers, communities and the local environment”

“Bayswater generated 10% more power in 2014-15 than in the previous year,  so it is logical that emissions levels would rise.  But the company emitted significantly more toxic pollutants per unit of energy produced as well, indicating the old and inefficient coal-fired power plant is getting worse.”

“AGL intends to keep operating Bayswater until 2035 and hang on to other coal power until 2050. This is not good enough, given its huge greenhouse emissions, which are fueling climate change, and these insidious pollutants, which are known health risks.”

People from around the country will gather outside AGL’s annual general meeting in Sydney today, calling on the company to come up with a fair and fast transition to 100% renewable energy.

“We want AGL to bring a strategy to its 2017 AGM that shows how it will transition away from fossil fuels by 2025,” said Creaser.

Key data comparing 2013-14 emission levels from Bayswater to the most recent figures (2014-15)

  • Sulphur dioxide emissions have increased 28.8% from 59 million to 76 million  kilograms
  • Hydrochloric acid emissions are up 96% to 1.8 million kilograms
  • Fine particle pollution (PM2.5) rose 85% to 240,000 kilograms
  • Mercury emissions rose 14% from 210 kilograms to 240 kilograms, part of a long term trend that has seen a 458% increase in just three years.

Comparing 2013-14 emission levels intensity from Bayswater to the most recent figures (2014-15)

  • Sulphur dioxide intensity up 17%
  • Hydrochloric acid emissions intensity up 78%
  • PM2.5s particulate matter emissions intensity up 68%
  • Mercury emissions intensity up 4%

Details on the health impacts of these pollutants can be found here

For interviews contact: Josh Creaser on 0410 745 005

For media support: Louise Fraser 0438 993 068