September 30, 2020

EnergyAustralia’s Tallawarra power station, located on the shores of Lake Illawarra in New South Wales, has concluded a three-week summer readiness maintenance program, creating an additional 60 jobs in the region.

Liz Westcott, EnergyAustralia Executive – Energy said: “The major outage we recently finished at Tallawarra is part of a program that involves getting our power plants ready for summer.

“A huge amount of effort from our people on the ground means that on the really hot days when demand reaches its peak, our fast-start Tallawarra plant will be there to play its important role.

“By regularly conducting this maintenance, we also secure Tallawarra’s place long-term in the future modern energy system,” Ms Westcott said.

The major outage program took approximately 20 days and created an additional 60 jobs. Work involved inspecting, repairing and doing maintenance on parts of the plant, including the gas turbine and heat recovery steam generator, that together make Tallawarra one of Australia’s most efficient gas-fired stations.

Tallawarra Asset Leader Jason Lee said creating a safe working environment for workers in light of COVID-19 was integral to the program’s success.

“Each day we had workers undergo temperature checks, we had ample hand sanitiser and face masks available, particularly for areas where workers were completing a job in close quarters. Despite the challenges COVID-19 posed, we all worked together and our people did the right thing, and for that we can’t thank them enough,” he said.

Maintenance at Tallawarra follows works currently underway at EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn plant in Victoria. In addition, a two-year steam turbine upgrade project at Mt Piper in New South Wales will begin shortly that, once complete, will expand capacity by 60 megawatts, or enough electricity to power an additional 55,000 homes without having to burn more coal.

Later this year, EnergyAustralia will also decide whether to expand Tallawarra power station. As the most advanced gas project in the state, the project would deliver 300-400MW of gas peaking power, a $300 million investment and 250 local jobs during construction.

Tallawarra employs 35 people and last year celebrated a decade in operation. The plant’s generation capacity is 435 megawatts, which is enough power to supply up to 200,000 homes. Last summer, the power station was available on the five hottest days with 100 per cent availability.