04/15/2014 07:48 EDT | Updated 06/15/2014 05:59 EDT

TransAlta named preferred bidder for C$565M Australian power plant

CALGARY - TransAlta Corp. (TSX:TA) says it has been named the preferred bidder for the South Hedland Power Project in Australia.

Subject to final approvals, TransAlta will invest the equivalent of almost C$565 million in a 150-megawatt, gas-fired power station in South Hedland, Western Australia, that it will build, own and operate.

TransAlta said Tuesday that the combined cycle gas power station is expected to be delivering power in 2016 with full commissioning of the station in 2017.

Ouput will be fully contracted under 25-year agreements with Horizon Power and Fortescue Metals Group and may be expanded to accommodate additional customers at later dates.

"Our bid on this development project illustrates the importance and focus that TransAlta places on customers and business in Western Australia," Dawn Farrell, president and CEO of Calgary-based TransAlta said in announcing the project Tuesday.

TransAlta has been operating for more than 15 years in Western Australia, with six facilities totalling 425 MW of generating capacity and a natural gas pipeline under development.