Fairfax is reporting coal-fired power generators have been struggling recently to secure coal supply for their power plants, in a development which could potentially drive up household and business power prices.
In a report which has not been confirmed by officials, the Australian Energy Market Operator is said to be monitoring a potential shortfall in coal supply ahead of the 2017/18 summer season.
While a total exhaustion of NSW’s coal stockpiles is reportedly unlikely, the dwindling supplies will likely lead to higher prices for the plants which burn the coal.
Any increase in the plant operators’ costs would of course be handed down to the consumer, worsening the ongoing energy crisis which has already driven prices upwards for households and industry consumers alike, of late.
AGL Macquarie general manager Kate Coates reportedly told the paper the company was “scrabbling for contracts” to supply coal to its Liddell and Bayswater power stations.
“It’s difficult, A, to get coal and it’s difficult, B, to get more space on the [rail] lines, and at the moment Glencore with their industrial issues, we’re struggling to get them to commit to more coal,” she was quoted as saying.
“We will just have to keep scrabbling for contracts. We’ve got a bunch of spot purchases coming our way that will tidy us up a bit. But ongoing coal supply is going to be a major issue, not just for us but for our competitors as well.”