30 June 2010

Enlarged Cotter Dam gets ICRC tick

| johnboy
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ACTEW are happy to report that after a protracted process the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission has given a tick to the Enlarged Cotter Dam:

ACTEW Managing Director Mark Sullivan said he was pleased the ICRC’s report confirmed the final price of $363 million represents an efficient cost for building the dam and found that the project was based on robust design, engineering, construction and costing processes.

Mr Sullivan said ACTEW welcomed the Commission’s acknowledgment that ACTEW’s decision to pursue a portfolio of projects was intended to provide ‘insurance for the ACT community against future climate change impacts’ and found that ‘the decision could be considered to have been prudent and may prove to be more so as climate change impacts are revealed over time’.

Nice to know with construction already well advanced.

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Yes, but apparently this CSIRO worst case is actually what has been occurring over the last few years. Even worse actually. And the ICRC favoured projects which don’t even have approval yet, which means their preference would be to do nothing.

I smell ACTEW spin.

This extract from the ICRC report suggests ACTEW based it’s case for the Dam expansion on the worst possible climate change scenario.

“From its review of ACTEW’s assessment processes and advice to the Board in August 2009, the Commission cannot find that the decision to proceed with the ECD as an independent project was prudent in terms of meeting the standard principles and tests as outlined in chapter 6. The Commission has a number of concerns with the supporting analysis that was provided to the Board. The two major concerns of the Commission were that the analysis:
• was based on extreme estimates of the willingness to pay to avoid water restrictions and of the likely occurrence of dry periods requiring water restrictions in the future (that is, climate change outcomes at the extreme end of the CSIRO estimated range)
• identified other possible options that were potentially more appropriate in terms of maximising the NEB available to the community rather than proceeding with the ECD option.”

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