Mining and Heavy Industries

Mackenzie wants pollies, lobbyists out of energy debate

BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie has directed Australia’s politicians and lobby groups to steer clear of the energy debate, and let the market find a solution to the ongoing price crisis.

Speaking at the mining giant’s investor meeting last week, Mackenzie – according to an ABC report – suggested lobby groups and politicians “back off the energy debate, and let the market find solutions”.

He reportedly said the company would look at market-based solutions, including developments in renewable energy, but would also ask governments to ensure baseload power remained an attractive option.

Mackenzie reportedly singled out South Australian politicians in his speech. BHP was hit hard by power cuts in South Australia over the last 18 months, with its massive Olympic Dam mining project facing ongoing threats to its energy supply.

A September outage at Olympic Dam reportedly cost the miner $140 million.

“We are not power generators, we are miners,” Mackenzie said. “Our preference will always be to buy from the grid. Clearly we should look at other options for the security of supply … renewables will play into that.

“We are also quite dedicated to the development of carbon capture and storage.”


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