July 30, 2021
  • The Victorian Government has approved water diversion activities proposed by EnergyAustralia that allows for an inspection of the damaged Morwell River Diversion 
  • Onsite bypass systems with a capacity of up to 3.5 gigalitres per day will divert water away from the impacted area of the Morwell River Diversion and into the Latrobe River; the water bypass system is due for completion in October  
  • Until the bypass system is in place – or in the case of a future high flood event – flows can be diverted into the disused Hazelwood mine 
  • As a last resort, flood waters can be captured in the Yallourn Township Field and pumped to the Latrobe River to allow for additional water storage capacity, in line with the approved Section 30A Application for Temporary Emergency Discharge

EnergyAustralia welcomes the Victorian Government’s approval of water diversion activities that allows the company to complete a comprehensive damage assessment of the Morwell River Diversion, and to determine long-term repairs, following extreme flooding in June. 

Liz Westcott, Chief Operating Officer at EnergyAustralia, said the Morwell River Diversion saw more than 30 times the standard volume of water impact the area and assures the community that water diversion activities will continue to meet strict environmental conditions set by the state government and enforced by the Environment Protection Authority.  

“As a result of recent Victorian Government approvals, we are now able to proceed with relieving pressure around the impacted area of the Morwell River Diversion, understand the extent of damage and assess what longer-term repairs might be required,” said Liz. 

“We’ve held real fears since June that with a compromised structure and an unknown amount of damage in the low flow channel, we can’t confidently withstand further flood events,” she said.

“Undertaking this work is critical as Yallourn currently provides more than 20 per cent of the state’s energy supplies and we have committed to running the plant until mid-2028. 

“Ensuring we continue to safeguard the surrounding environment, we have implemented an extensive monitoring regime of water properties with sampling frequency increased from weekly to three time per week, which will continue through the diversion recovery program. 

“We commit to make public a summary of our monitoring data that’s being collected throughout the process later in the year, once it has been analysed. 

“EnergyAustralia appreciates the strong support of the Victorian Government, local community, unions, regulators – and especially our Yallourn workforce.”  

Standard coal mining operations resumed at the Yallourn mine in late June following a rigorous geotechnical risk assessment to safely re-enter the Maryvale field. The power station currently has all four generating units available.