National Power of the UK won a deal to build and operate a 500 MWe gas-fired power plant at Pelican Point, Adelaide. Construction of the $250 million scheme is due to start in April, with the first stages due to begin providing power in November 2000.

The project will increase the generating capacity in South Australia by 20 per cent. Under the agreed construction schedule, the first 163 MWe will enter service in November next year, 413 MWe will be completed by February 2001 and 500 MWe by November 2001.

National Power will pay the government of South Australia $20 million for a package which includes land at Pelican Point for the site, a 20 month contract to supply ETSA Corp with 200 MWe of power and a five-year contract to buy gas from Terra Gas Trader.

The operational life of the new plant has been estimated at 25 years. The government can impose financial penalties on National Power if it fails to meet the construction or operational schedule.