June 17, 2021
  • EnergyAustralia continues to respond to last week’s heavy rainfall across the region and its potential implications at the Yallourn coal mine, including cracking of the Morwell River Diversion (MRD) wall
  • EnergyAustralia’s focus is on relieving pressure on the MRD caused by this rain
  • The Victorian State Government has this morning declared a State Energy Emergency
  • The proclamation means that the Victorian Government can consider and respond quickly to any proposals EnergyAustralia puts forward to respond to events

EnergyAustralia today welcomed the Victorian State Government decision to declare an energy emergency in relation to the Yallourn power station following last week’s heavy rain that caused cracks to appear in the Morwell River Diversion (MRD) wall. 

Energy Executive, Liz Westcott, said the proclamation acknowledges the seriousness that further flooding could cause to the mine, and will also allow options to relieve pressure on water flows in the impacted area to be quickly approved by Government.

“Tomorrow, EnergyAustralia will be submitting a proposal to the Victorian Government that will outline in detail the options available to mitigate the current situation,” said Liz. 

“The weather has been kind to us in the past two days and this has meant that the water in the river diversion has subsided, allowing us to understand better the impact,” she said. 

“Movement in the ground around the river diversion has stabilised but there is cracking, and we still need to work on actions to stop the water flow around the areas of concern.

“Temporary measures to seal the cracks are already occurring and a technician has arrived from interstate to install a high-tech ground radar that can help us identify movement in the mine. Geotechnical experts are also on site looking at solutions.

“Keeping our employees safe continues to be our highest priority and the exclusion zone in the impacted area is still in place. 

“Current work continues to be conducted in line with detailed risk assessments and in close consultation with Government regulators. 

“Future work that may be undertaken, as outlined in our proposal to Government, will require their approval before it proceeds.”

Yallourn’s generation capacity is up to 1480 MW and it supplies about 20 per cent of Victoria’s electricity demand, or eight per cent of the National Electricity Market. The power station continues to run, with mining being conducted four kilometres from the area of concern to maintain operation of one unit.

“We continue to update the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). Separately, they have confirmed that power supply is sufficient to meet demand in all National Electricity Network regions, including Victoria.

“EnergyAustralia’s other assets are available to meet customers’ energy needs, supported by our Victorian gas plants, Newport and Jeeralang power stations.

“Our objective is for mining to resume in a safe and timely manner. I would like to thank our employees, the Government and the Latrobe Valley community for their ongoing support.”