June 18, 2021

Works continue today at EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn mine in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley to seal cracks in the Morwell River Diversion (MRD) wall that appeared following last week’s heavy rainfall event.  

Energy Executive, Liz Westcott, said the team is also focused on submitting a proposal to the Victorian Government that will outline in detail the options available to manage water flows to relieve pressure around the impacted area and enable longer term repairs.  

“Yesterday’s declaration of an energy emergency will allow the government to evaluate and quickly provide a whole of government response to options to divert water flows,” said Liz. 

“These options, along with measures to seal the cracks, are particularly important to undertake in the event of further heavy rain,” she said. 

“While the impacted area has stabilised, it is stressed and remains vulnerable. We’re aiming to have the cracks sealed by mid-next week, depending on the weather.” 

“To put last week’s rain event into context, the average daily flow rate of water through the Morwell River Diversion is half a gigalitre, which is equivalent to about 200 Olympic-size swimming pools.  

“We estimate on 11 June 2021 the average daily flow rate swelled to about 17 gigalitres or about 6800 Olympic-size swimming pools! It was incredible and something we’ve never experienced before.” 

Yallourn power station’s generation capacity is up to 1480 MW and typically supplies about 20 per cent of Victoria’s electricity demand, or eight per cent of the National Electricity Market. Currently, one unit continues to run at a minimum generation level. 

“We’ve been able to maintain minimum generation on one unit by using our emergency coal supplies and selectively mining parts of our fields where it is safe to do so. 

“The community can be reassured that we are in constant contact with government, regulators and unions from a safety and environmental perspective, and work is always conducted according to strict requirements. 

“I would like to thank our employees, the Government and the Latrobe Valley community for their ongoing support. 

“Separately, we continue to update the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and we understand that they have reassured Victorians that there is enough power supply to meet demand.”