A major flood risk at Victoria’s Yallourn coal mine has been stabilised but remains critical, as EnergyAustralia continues to develop a permanent fix for the situation.
EnergyAustralia has been temporarily discharging flood water into the nearby Latrobe river after cracks in the banks of the adjacent Morwell River Diversion (MRD) appeared in June.
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has been monitoring the environmental impacts associated with the discharge into Latrobe.
EnergyAustralia executive Liz Westcott said the discharge process wasn’t expected to have any major impacts.
“Strict quality limits have been set by the EPA and this will be rigorously monitored by independent and accredited laboratory experts three times per week during the set discharge period,” Westcott said.
“This emergency discharge is expected to have a minor impact on the Latrobe River as it is a temporary measure.”
While local rainfall isn’t forecast to pose as large a threat to energy supplies as recent times, temporary measures are in place to seal the cracks in the MRD.
In the long-term, plans are being developed to permanently bypass, inspect and repair the MRD to avoid a catastrophe of this scale happening again.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio stressed the importance of this.
“The situation at Yallourn is now stable, but it remains critical that we find a long-term solution to protect the mine and ensure Victoria’s energy security,” D’Ambrosio said.
The Yallourn coal mine provides around 22 per cent of Victoria’s power supply, with a flood causing it to either stop operating or to operate at a significantly reduced capacity.
The mine’s electricity supply makes up 8 per cent of the National Electricity Market.