Companies keen to build power station: Harriman

Liberal candidate for Morwell Dale Harriman says there are private investors keen to build a brown coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley. file photograph

Liberal candidate for Morwell Dale Harriman says there are private investors keen to build a brown coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley. file photograph

Liberal candidate for Morwell Dale Harriman says 90 per cent of his electorate want a new brown-coal fired power station built in the Latrobe Valley.

Speaking to The Express on Friday, the Latrobe City councillor said he had been in talks with two companies who were interested in building a new power station, should the Coalition win November's state election.

Mr Harriman would not reveal who the companies were but said they "have the money to build one" and "all it's going to take is a change of government and a change of minister to see that happen".

He made the comments alongside Liberal Party deputy leader David Hodgett and member for Eastern Victoria Edward O'Donohue during the opening of his campaign office on Seymour Street in Traralgon.

Mr Harriman, who works for the Latrobe Valley Authority, also said he intended to remain with the government body set up by the Labor government after the closure of Hazelwood, despite comments in February he would likely not be employed at the LVA come the election. "I've had two companies already talk to me who have come out and heard I want to build a coal-fired power station, that have the money to build one," Mr Harriman said.

"This means thousands of construction jobs over a number of years and it means hundreds if not a thousand plus ongoing full-time jobs in that industry and that's what this area needs.

"I've done my background check on them and they're legitimate companies and hopefully they'll be visiting and coming out before the election and if they don't that's their decision." Mr Harriman said any station would be funded by private industry, with both companies currently considering businesses cases to establish a new high-efficiency low-emissions station in the region.

"If the regulations are in place and know that they have a future here, they will come," Mr Harriman said.

"Renewables fill a niche, they fill a part of the market but for base load you need coal-fired power stations.

"I've got one company who is already involved in renewable energy here in Australia and they see this as a great asset - they cannot understand why we're not using it."

The Liberals are yet to release their position on coal-fired power, however, Mr Harriman said party leader Matthew Guy would "come out and make an announcement on that" soon.

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