Coal, News

Callide coal-fired power station repair delayed

CS Energy has announced that its coal-fired Callide power station, located near Biloela in central Queensland, will not run to full capacity until May 2024.

A fire at the power station in May 2021 caused widespread damage at the site and left hundreds of Queensland homes without power.

C3, a power unit at the site, is expected to run at half its capacity from January 2024, with the C4 unit returning in May that same year.

“CS Energy is acutely aware of the importance of reliable generation from coal-fired generators such as the Callide C Power Station, particularly at a time of high gas and coal prices and with reducing coal generation across the energy sector,” CS Energy acting chief executive officer Andrew Varvari said.

“The demolition and rebuild of the C3 and C4 cooling towers, and the subsequent recommissioning of the units is a highly complex project, further complicated by our JV (joint venture) partner being in an administration process.

“Work started on site earlier this month to demolish the C3 cooling tower, with nine cells demolished to date, and this will be followed by the demolition of the C4 cooling tower.

“We have completed the bulk of the rebuild works on Unit C4 following the incident in May 2021 and introduced improvements to make the site safer.”

Queensland has been aiming to phase out coal used in power stations since September 2023.

“Queensland has Australia’s youngest and most modern coal-fired power station fleet,” Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“It is a significant advantage for supporting manufacturing and other types of industry during detailed planning to diversify the energy mix and ensure stability as intermittent energy sources like solar and wind are further integrated into the grid.

“Volatility in global energy markets and power prices shows what is a stake if the transition to lower emissions energy sources is rushed or poorly planned.”

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