Friday, November 27, 2015

News On Renewable Energy Projects In WA

Having invested millions of dollars over many years in an uncertain regulatory environment, Western Australian private power station developers are now facing further delays due to proposed changes to the electricity market.

Business News understands eight power stations seeking connection to the electricity network are currently under assessment; 

four wind projects, 
two solar, 
one biomass and 
one diesel-fired peaking plant.

One developer (wishing to remain anonymous) told Business News it had invested $1 million since applying to Western Power to join the grid more than four years ago, and was growing increasingly frustrated with delays.

Among the renewable energy proponents are: 

•     WestGen, which is developing separate solar and biomass projects in the states south; Moonies           Hill Energy, which is developing the second stage of its Flat Rocks wind farm near Kojonup; 

•    And a foreign based company, which recently bought the Waddi wind farm development site near      Dandaragan, about 170 kilometres north of Perth.

It’s believed the other solar developer is Greenough River Solar Farm, which is seeking an expansion of what is currently WAs only utility scale solar farm.

Infigen, which owns the 89-megawatt wind farm, known variously as the Alinta (it’s off-taker) or Walkaway wind farm, near Geraldton, told Business News while it was interested in expanding this asset, it was not currently being assessed as one of the eight developments.

It’s understood the eight projects under consideration could add about 500-MW of power to WA’s electricity industry, with the majority of the projects offering state-owned Synergy the opportunity to meet its federally mandated large-scale renewable generation obligations from 2018.

Synergy recently put out expressions of interest to procure a total of 500,000 renewable generation certificates (equivalent to 500,000-MWh) per annum from 2018.

These certificates do not necessarily have to come from renewable energy power stations within WA, but its expected there would be a backlash from the local renewable energy industry if Synergy turned to providers from outside WA.

Western Power, which runs the Competing Applications Group process, known as CAG, for power station developers wishing to join the grid said it understood that some customers were frustrated with the time being taking to carry out the process.

A Western Power executive manager said the state-owned operator of WA’s electricity network had a responsibility to ensure proposed connections to the grid were safe, reliable, and maintained the security of the state’s electricity supply.

He said the current review of WA’s electricity market, in particular transferring the management of the electricity system to the national body the Australian Energy Market Operator, while positive, meant Western Power was reassessing the impact this would have on bringing new power stations online.

He said whether a project used renewable energy or not was not a factor in determining if it was allowed to connect to the grid.

compliments of:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cataby Abattoir

HIGHLY regarded Western Australian grazing property Joanna Plains has Plans for a Boutique Abattoir

Carpenter International sold the 9500ha property, located near Cataby, 140km north of Perth, to a newly-formed joint venture involving two stakeholders.

New owner, the Central Agri Group, represents a partnership between Lawsons Angus, Australia’s largest Angus beef seedstock producer; and Shark Lake Food Group, the operator of the export lamb and beef abattoir near Esperance.

Victorian-based Lawsons has had a long-standing bull breeding and marketing business in Western Australia, with owners earlier spending three years in the west, developing the enterprise.

The buyers say they plan to complete a partially-built abattoir on the site, ‘in due course’.

The new business aims to create a world-class integrated beef supply business at an attractive time in the beef economic cycle, the joint venture spokesman.

Carpenter Beefs general manager will head up the new group, which has been formed to expand the integrated supply chain of high quality Angus and Wagyu brands into global markets.

“The new Central Agri business model will create the integrated seedstock and breeding company that we need to secure supply for our export Angus programs,”

“Lawsons Angus has been our major genetics supplier for twenty years so it really isn’t a major change to our strategy,” he said.
“Our integration into Central Agri Group will enable us to expand the business significantly and better serve Lawsons Angus customers in WA and on the East coast.”

“This is a great result for Carpenter Beef and WA agriculture in general,”

“Our Japanese customers are looking to increase the volume of high quality grainfed Angus, and we wanted to secure a supply of cattle with the right genetics to fit that market.
For a long time our company has recognized the value of Lawsons Angus genetics and the consistency in producing a high quality product.”

“Our Japanese customers want to open the box and find the same eating quality every time. This is only possible with a long-term disciplined approach to every part of the supply chain starting with the genetics.”

The Joanna Plains farm at Cataby will continue to be used as a custom feedlot for northern producers as well as a facility for finishing cattle to be slaughtered at the Shark Lake abattoir.

The feedlot has in the past fed up to 13,000 head.
The 10,000 head backgrounding facility will be expanded to include a  Lawsons Angus Bull Unit and Research Centre.

Head of Lawsons Angus said the Joanna Plains sale represented a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“We are excited to be part of a dynamic fully-integrated breeding company.

The facility we have at Joanna Plains is a similar concept to that used by our US partners, Gardiner Angus Ranch,” he said in a statement.

Gardiner Ranch, one of the largest US seedstock suppliers, also operates a large commercial cattle business built around progeny buyback schemes among co-operator breeders using Gardiner Ranch genetics.

“Central Agri Group will offer our clients in the East and the West an opportunity to work with the end-customer and see the value of their genetics in a transparent way,” he said.

“Having a fully traceable supply chain including genetics puts us in a truly unique position,” he said.

The sale comes after years of speculation about the future of the 8700ha grazing property near Cataby, where construction of a boutique-scale abattoir stopped in 2007 after owner Ric Stowe’s business empire collapsed.

With Central Agri’s ‘multimillion-dollar cash injection’, the property is likely to boast a 400-head-a day abattoir, feedlots and prime grazing land.

Redgum Village Dandaragan

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Who Really Won The Melbourne Cup?

Did you watch the Melbourne cup? What a way to recognise female jockeys. What a great boost for people with Down syndrome. What a race.

This Melbourne cup no. 155 will be fondly remembered for all the right reasons.
Betting odds of over 100 to 1 with Michelle Payne, the jockey whom has raced Prince of Penzance 23 of 24 starts and her brother Steven Payne the strapper.
Made even more memorable by Steven being challenged with Down Syndrome, and Michelle being the first female jockey to win the CUP certainly made this a fairy tale event.

Some quick facts on Prince of Penzance:
·       NZ bred from sire “Pentire” and Dam “Royal Successor”
·       From the Sire of Dam “Mr Prospector”.
·       Bought from vendor Rich Hill Stud
·       Buyer John Foote Bloodstock pty ltd.
·       Paid $50,000
·       Prize money of $4.4M before Melbourne Cup 2015
·       6 yo Gelding, born 20/11/2009
·       Trained in the Ballarat Forest Lodge stable by Darren Weir.
·       Owned by A McGregor, A T Broadfoot, Galadi Holdings, Dalton racing and three syndicates
·       Won the race that stops a nation in fine style 2015.

Michelle’s winning speech certainly made it crystal clear of the issues faced by female jockeys, even from some of the horses owners.
Quote from The Guardian: 

“My sister Margaret and I both had a feeling we would win this race. It’s such a chauvinistic sport, a lot of the owners wanted to kick me off. Everyone else can get stuffed [who] think women aren’t good enough.

It was certainly a reward to both the owner in particular that did encourage Michelle to be the jockey and the trainer that she did race this horse.
The added bonus to secure not only the victory but a couple firsts in the history books as first female jockey to win this great race and Darren Weir first win as a trainer is nothing short of phenomenal.
Well done to all concerned and let’s see more of an equal opportunity for the woman of sports dominated by males. 

That doesn’t mean give girls more opportunity than their male counterparts but fair recognition and acceptance of whom is best for the job, male or female.
Any position should be earnt through training, perseverance, self-belief, determination and the will to win. 

 10 Quickie facts of Michelle Payne (courtesy of the Herald Sun)

·       Michelle was born in September 1985 and grew up on a property near Ballarat in central Victoria.
·       Her mum Mary died in a car crash when she was just six months old. Michelle has said in the past that her dad Paddy would talk to her daily about how much he loved Mary.
·       Michelle is the youngest of 10 kids. She has racing blood running through her veins and is the eighth Payne child to become a jockey - five of her older sisters and two brothers have also spent time as jockeys. Brother Patrick is now a well known trainer in Victoria.
·       Michelle rode her first race on Reigning, a horse trained by her dad, when she was just 15. And she won.
·       In March 2004, Payne had a horrific fall while racing at Sandown. Thrown headfirst onto the track she suffered a fractured skull and bruising on the brain. Her family begged her to retire from the profession but she resisted.
·       Payne’s first Group 1 win came in 2009. Riding Allez Wonder for the late Bart Cummings, she was victorious in the Toorak Handicap.
·       The next month Cummings offered Payne a ride in the Caulfield Cup where she became only the third female jockey to do so.
·       Michelle has said she believes her mum rides on her shoulder with her and has protected her in a number of big falls she’s had since Sandown.
·       Before the Melbourne Cup she had amassed prizemoney of more than $20 million on the horses she had ridden.
·       Michelle Payne became the first woman ever to win the Melbourne Cup when she rode Prince of Penzance - with odds of more than $100-1.

Horse Racing was the winner of this year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup