A number of sustainable development projects are currently underway at Mt Piper power station.
EnergyAustralia entered into an agreement with Nu-Rock in 2014 to build a pilot plant that uses fly-ash from Mt Piper power station to manufacture building materials such as bricks, pavers and concrete blocks.
Should the test plant prove successful, Nu-Rock will look to build a larger facility capable of manufacturing these products in a commercial quantity. If these plans proceed, the facility would look to employ up to twenty people and be set to use 250,000 tonnes of Mt Piper’s fly-ash each year.
Western Rail Coal Unloader
EnergyAustralia developed the idea for the Western Rail Coal Unloader project in order to continue the coal supply needed to operate Mt Piper power station. The Minister for Planning and Infrastructure granted approval in 2009 to construct a rail coal unloader at Pipers Flat. This will ensure ongoing operational needs are met and that Mt Piper will have access to competitively priced coal.
Mt Piper Ash Placement Project
With a generating capacity of around 1400MW, there is a need to provide advanced ash placement to better serve the environment of the Mt Piper region. In 2012 a proposal was put forth to the NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure to create a new ash placement area in Lamberts North. This was approved and construction was completed in May 2013. This will ensure further ash produced from Mt Piper is placed in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Energy Recovery Project
EnergyAustralia and Re.Group are developing a project to augment the 1400-megawatt (MW) Mt Piper power station near Lithgow in New South Wales with lower emissions generation.
The project, an Australian first, involves using non-recyclable plastics, linen and cardboard, known as refuse derived fuel (RDF), in a specifically-designed boiler to create steam.
We plan to submit a full environmental impact statement (EIS) later in 2018 detailing the proposal, the feedback we receive and the project’s potential impacts.
We’re aiming to make a final investment decision in 2019, with first power as soon as 2021.
We’re optimistic energy recovery can form part of a new, modern energy system as big coal plants are progressively retired, alongside wind, solar, battery storage, demand response and pumped hydro technology.