October 4, 2012

A major 3.2 kilometre piping system has been commissioned at the Yallourn Mine, allowing the Morwell River to be diverted straight into the Latrobe River.

This major milestone means up to 120 per cent of the average river flows can be carried to the Latrobe River without entering the Mine, providing more protection against rainfall events and enabling more water to be pumped from the Mine.

The work follows a failure in the Morwell River Diversion at the Mine in June.
Group Executive Manager Operations and Construction, Michael Hutchinson, said the river-to-river transfer was a vital part of the recovery process and was another step towards bringing the power station back to reliable operation at full capacity.

“This is an important milestone for recovery works because it reduces the risk of more water entering the mine while the Morwell River Diversion is being repaired,” Mr Hutchinson said.

“The workers have done a remarkable job of getting the river-to-river transfer in place and making sure we can continue supplying electricity.

“Our focus now is to continue reducing water levels in the East Field section of the Mine so we can recover and reinstate a second coal conveyor to ensure we have a reliable supply of sufficient coal.

“Sufficient and reliable coal supply is needed to ensure we are able to operate at full capacity to meet peak energy demands during summer.”

Water discharges from the mine continue in compliance with Environment Protection Authority discharge approvals.

An independent water testing laboratory is continuing to monitor water being discharged into the Latrobe River, with the Environment Protection Authority last week confirming the results were meeting discharge approval levels.

“The EPA has issued a statement confirming we are abiding by discharge approvals, underpinning their 'assessment that there will be no long term environmental impacts’,” Mr Hutchinson said.

Design work on the permanent Morwell River Diversion is underway and will be completed shortly.