According to reports, the Tomago aluminium smelter has put itself forward as a foundation customer for any low emissions coal-fired electricity generator to be built in the Hunter Valley as it warns continued power supply instability and rising prices threatens its future.

With the plant accounting for 12 per cent of NSW’s electricity consumption, a commitment from Tomago would help underwrite any new power plant.

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and Resources Minister Matt Canavan have both floated ultra-supercritical coal-fired power stations as potential sol­utions to stabilise the energy grid and drive down emissions.