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Brawl brewing over proposed NSW coal-fired power stations

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Environmentalists are calling on the prime minister and NSW premier to stop plans for new coal-fired power stations in the Hunter Valley.

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Hong Kong-based group Kaisun Holdings last week announced it had entered into a memorandum of understanding with state-owned conglomerate China Energy Engineering Corporation and local company Cavcorp Australia for the development of two “ultra super critical” coal-fired power plants in the Hunter, with a 2000-megawatt capacity.

The federal government said it was aware of the MOU, but was not involved.

“As there could be potential future approval processes, the government doesn’t propose commenting on this matter further,” a spokesman for Energy Minister Angus Taylor said today.

It’s understood the NSW Department of Planning and Environment has not yet received an application for the project.

“If one is received, it will be considered and processed in the normal manner,” a spokesman for NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts told AAP.

Greenpeace says the project “makes no sense” and has called on Scott Morrison and Gladys Berejiklian to to rule out any new coal generation.

“If the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian want to show us that they are no longer besotted by coal, they will rule out building these coal plants right off the bat,” campaigner Jonathan Moylan said in a statement.

“Australians are ready to embrace the energy transition.”

However, federal Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly said the plan was “exactly” what the Australian energy market needs.

“If the government needs to underwrite it, if it needs a little bit of help, then that’s what we should be doing,” he told the ABC.

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