AGL rejects offer to buy its Liddell coal-fired power station

Simone Ziaziaris                                                       Monday

Simone Ziaziaris Monday

Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has accused AGL of treating the federal government as fools after the company rejected an offer to buy its Liddell power plant.

AGL has completed its assessment and has told the bidders that it will not proceed with the offer.

"The AGL Board has reminder that the Offer is not in the best interests of AGL or its shareholders", AGL said.

AGL's Liddell power plant, which supplies 10 per cent of the electricity used in Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, is seen as crucial for energy security as the grid becomes more reliant on intermittent wind and solar power.

The energy retailer reaffirmed its plans to close Liddell in 2022.

The Australian Energy Market Operator has confirmed that completion of the generation plan will address the capacity shortfall that may occur as a result of Liddell's closure.

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AGL shares are now trading at 13x FY19's estimated earnings, which seems very reasonable.

Conservative Coalition backbenchers pounced on AGL's decision.

"The offer by Alinta to purchase Liddell was unsolicited and ambiguous, and the union has no confidence that jobs would be secure under such a plan".

"AGL's decision is disappointing", Australian energy minister Josh Frydenberg said in a statement. AGL also needed the plant to meet consumer demand till 2022 and will use Liddell's site for battery installation after 2022 for its operations in renewable power.

"While the government recognises AGL has put forward a replacement plan, it has only financially committed to a fraction of the projects - namely, a 100MW upgrade to its existing coal-fired Bayswater power plant and a 250MW gas peaking plant".

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