Labor has asked the auditor-general to investigate a $4 million grant handed to a company wanting to build a new coal-fired power station in north Queensland.

The opposition is concerned about revelations the company, Shine Energy, was asked to apply for the money after the federal government already announced it was successful.

The Collinsville coal-fired power station was an election promise made by the Morrison government last year.

Labor’s energy spokesman Mark Butler says the project was announced simply for votes.

“(It) has nothing to do with securing jobs or affordable and reliable power in north Queensland,” he said.

“This Collinsville coal plant process has been an expensive, incompetent, purely political disaster from start to finish.”

Shine Energy last year said the project would have to be protected from possible future prices on carbon in order to attract private investment.

The Australian Industry Group has estimated this could cost taxpayers $17 billion.