Czech company buys Delta’s power station and mine at Lake Macquarie

Delta Electricity has agreed to sell its Vales Point Power Station and Chain Valley coalmine to a Czech billionaire.

Delta announced yesterday Sev.en Energy would buy a 100 per cent stake in the two sites from shareholders Trevor St Baker and Brian Flannery.

The sale is subject to government approvals and the terms of the sale have not been revealed.

It will undoubtedly deliver a handsome profit to the pair who originally bought the power station for just $1 million in 2015 and then it was revalued at $722 million.

Vales Point is scheduled to close in 2029 but some analysts believe it could close sooner.

Delta Electricity outgoing Chair, Trevor St.Baker AO, said:

“We continue to have a firm view that around the clock dispatchable generation will be necessary for the NEM well into the future. As owners for the last eight years, Esprey and StBaker Family Trust have positioned the business to continue essential operations through the energy transition, but recognise that there are opportunities to grow the business and that this can be better accomplished in a portfolio with Sev.en’s other base-load capable generation interests. The sale will facilitate this growth as Sev.en has shown a commitment to the sector and an ambition to expand, both in Australia and globally.”

Sev.en Energy operates two coal-fired power stations in the Czech Republic, owns a coal mining company in the United States and already has a 50 per cent interest in two power stations in Queensland.

Chief Executive of Sev.en, Alan Svoboda said:

“We are excited to consolidate and take over the ownership of Delta Group. With this acquisition we will significantly strengthen our presence in Australia. Sev.en Group is a global experienced and responsible operator of conventional power plants. We make strategic investments with long-term commitment. We always look for ways to make our business more sustainable, support the local communities and take care of the employees.”

The Lake Macquarie and Central Coast Coal-Ash Community Alliance aren’t happy about the announcement.

In particular the group is concerned about the coal ash dams which they have been pushing to get emptied.

“The community is very clear in its demand that all ash dams need to be emptied. Plans to this effect need to be developed as a matter of utmost urgency between power station owners and the State government as the former owner and operator, and the necessary funding needs to be made available,” said Kim Grierson from the alliance.

The alliance added that “according to Forbes, Tykač and four colleagues cofounded Motoinvest in 1992, which specialized in hostile takeovers during the Czech Republic’s privatization program. In light of this history, the local communities put State and Federal governments on notice that now is the time for both governments to make sure they rectify mistakes made in the privatization of NSW energy assets”.

“In particular, the local communities demand that any change in ownership of the Delta Group is subject to the most stringent requirements, so that the local communities can be informed in transparent ways where the funding is held for the full rehabilitation of all coal-ash dams to the highest international environmental standards.”

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