July 2, 2020

EnergyAustralia today announced that Mark Pearson, head of the company’s Yallourn power station and mine in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, would retire after a decade-and-a-half in the role.

Mark has led Yallourn’s 500-person workforce since 2005. He will hand over to Julian Turecek, who has almost 30 years’ experience in the industry, including project and operational roles with EnergyAustralia.

“Mark began his career as an engineer back in 1979 working on construction and commissioning Stage 2 of Yallourn “W” and now, all these years later, he retires as head of the power station,” said EnergyAustralia Executive – Energy, Liz Westcott. “He’s guided the plant to many triumphs and through challenges, continuing Yallourn’s wonderful legacy of providing Victoria with reliable and affordable power.

“Mark has made a remarkable, enduring contribution and will be deeply missed. We wish him all the best for a long and enjoyable retirement. He’s earned it.”

In 2019 Engineers Australia included the Yallourn power station on its list of the country’s top 100 engineering achievements, a testament to the plant’s and the Latrobe Valley’s heritage as the “engine room” of Victoria’s development. Under Mark’s leadership, Yallourn has played an important role in Australia’s energy transition, providing stability as renewables were added to the energy system.

Mark oversaw an upgrade program at Yallourn, which by 2015 allowed the plant to power an additional 100,000 Victorian homes without needing to use a single, additional lump of coal.

In early July the Yallourn plant will begin its most significant maintenance and upgrade works since the 1970s. The program is scheduled to run through to September, when Mark will hand over to Julian.

“It’s a fitting way for Mark to commence his retirement and welcome Julian to Yallourn,” Liz said.

Under Julian, EnergyAustralia will continue its approach toward Yallourn, to invest in the plant for so long as it’s needed.

In his time at EnergyAustralia, Julian has led the proposed expansion of the Tallawarra power station in New South Wales and has managed the company’s gas-fired assets, including a 30-megwatt addition to the Hallett power station in South Australia. He has also acted as Head of Yallourn.

“Julian and his family have a long connection with Gippsland and he’s passionate about the energy industry and its future. Mark’s legacy is in the best of hands,” Liz said.