Major maintenance work will commence next month at EnergyAustralia’s Mt Piper power station located near Lithgow, New South Wales, with COVID-19 safety measures a critical consideration.
Liz Westcott, Chief Operating Officer at EnergyAustralia, said the maintenance work, also known as a major outage, ensures Mt Piper continues to operate reliably and safely. Costing $46 million and spanning almost three-months, the outage is focused on Mt Piper’s 700MW Unit Two. Unit One, with a capacity of 730MW, will continue operating as normal.
“The maintenance program ensures the lights stay on for the more than one million homes who rely on Mt Piper,” said Liz.
“It provides work for 515 extra people, and we use local suppliers where we can - enabling a considerable amount of what we spend to flow into the local economy,” she said.
Steve Marshall, Head of Mt Piper at EnergyAustralia, said that during the works - starting early March and running through until the end of May – the highest level of COVID-19 protections will be in place.
“Keeping our people and the local community safe throughout the maintenance program is our number one priority,” said Steve.
“We’re mindful that we’ll have more than 500 extra team members on site who will be conducting a range of work ranging from routine and statutory inspections to testing, repairing and replacing key components,” he said.
“Safework NSW have visited Mt Piper and inspected our COVID management process. I’m pleased that we exceeded their expectations and are even considered an industry benchmark.
“The maintenance program was originally planned for last year but was deferred due to concerns at the time about rising cases of the COVID-19 Delta strain. The decision prioritised the health and safety of our people and the local community.”
Steve says a range of measures are in place to keep Mt Piper COVID safe.
“RATs are our first line of defence. Before workers enter Mt Piper they undergo a rapid antigen test. We’ve increased cleaning and introduced limits on the number of people in lifts and vehicles. Plus, we’ve appointed COVID marshals to keep watch and ensure people are following the COVID safety rules.
“Keeping Mt Piper COVID safe during a major maintenance program isn’t new to us – we did it successfully in 2020. And we’ve taken lessons from the outage at EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn power station late last year. I want to assure the community that their safety, and that of our people, always comes first.”