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SA power prices to become world’s most expensive

30 June 2017

Respected online industry journal, Manufacturing Monthly, has reported that South Australia will have the world's most expensive electricity tariffs following the announcement by each of the three big retailers of their new tariffs from 1st July 2017.

On average, AGL will be increasing its prices by 18 per cent, Energy Australia by 19.9 per cent, and Origin Energy by 16.1 per cent.  Such increases are almost unprecedented, and will particularly impact manufacturers who also rely on natural gas for their operations with significant hikes in gas tariffs as new contracts are negotiated.

Manufacturing Monthly also reported recently that Adelaide recycling business Plastics Granulating Services (PGS) has been forced to close due to power bill increases of $100,000 over the past 18 months.

According to managing director Stephen Scherer, 35 jobs were lost as a result of the closure.

The facility, which processed 10,000 tonnes of plastic waste, was the only recycling service of its kind remaining in SA. It processes domestic, low-grade waste and turned it into plastic granules, which were converted back into other industrial products.

“I hate to think of how many hours I’ve wasted on the AEMO website with tools to monitor spot pricing, to assess the implications of power, the trends of power and the future costs of power,” Scherer told the ABC.

“We were basically marking time, draining ourselves of cash.”

SA Environment Minister Ian Hunter expressed his disappointment that the facility was shutting down. He said any recycled plant due to be sent to the facility would need to be sent to an interstate processing plant.

PGS had been running for 38 years, and there were plans for expansion prior to the power price hikes.