The Federal Government has announced $6 million for two feasibility studies, including one into a new coal-fired power plant.

Reports say $2 million has been set aside for a pre-feasibility study on a 1.5GW hydro-electric as part of the planned Urannah water scheme, while up to $4 million will test the feasibility of a 1GW “high efficiency, low emissions” (HELE) coal plant at Collinsville.

“We are supporting two promising new generation projects to deliver the reliable, affordable power that the north Queensland economy needs to grow and thrive,” deputy prime minister Michael McCormack said.

Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce says the study into the Collinsville plant would show it is viable.

“It's either that it stacks up, or we'll have to go and inform the Chinese, and the Indians, and the Japanese, and people in Europe and across the world that they're stupid, and we're smart,” Mr Joyce told reporters in Darwin.

“Because they're building high-efficiency, low-emission coal-fired power plants, and apparently we're the one country that although we want to export the product, we won't use it ourselves.”

Mr Joyce is seen by some as a pro-coal obsessive, but he says he does not have a “religious attachment” to coal.

“I have a religious attachment that the poor people can get affordable power, and that we can get dignity in people's lives,” Mr Joyce said.