Briquette supply uncertain

TWO of the Latrobe Valley’s power generators have been told their briquette supply from Industrial Energy’s Energy Brix is “uncertain” past November this year.

Though Industrial Energy only announced this week its Energy Brix briquette manufacturing and supply business was under review, it is understood Loy Yang Power and IPR-GDF SUEZ Hazelwood had earlier been advised their contract for briquettes from the company could end this year.

This week both power generators said they were investigating a range of alternative products for a reliable supply of auxiliary fuel, though nothing had been finalised yet.

The generators use brown coal briquettes as an auxiliary fuel to start boilers and support combustion at lower generation loads.

An LYP spokesperson said a specific type of black coal from New South Wales had been used in the past when there had been “issues with briquette supply”.

Though it was “a viable alternative” it was also more expensive “due to transport costs”, he said.

It is understood Murray Goulburn also uses Energy Brix briquettes.

Industrial Energy said the briquettes were an energy source for generating steam and heat in “a wide range of regional food processing and horticultural businesses in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania” as well as a carbon source for the manufacture of char.