Major maintenance work that will provide a vital boost to Victoria’s Latrobe Valley has commenced at EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn power station, with COVID safety a key focus.
Greg McIntyre, Head of Yallourn, said the maintenance work, also known locally as a major outage, ensures Yallourn continues to meet its obligations to operate reliably and safely. And that during works the highest level of COVID protections for workers and contractors are in place.
“The maintenance program ensures the lights stay on for around two million homes and gets Yallourn ready for summer when demand for energy is high.
“Keeping our people and the local community safe throughout the maintenance program is our number one priority. We’re particularly mindful that we currently have around 400 extra team members on site – many of whom are locals,” said Greg.
“Many people and small businesses are struggling right now. We’re pleased that we’re able to provide work for people, utilise the expertise of local businesses and boost the Latrobe Valley economy as the pandemic continues. The works cost around $100 million and the majority of that is spent in the Latrobe Valley,” he said.
The 94-day maintenance program is focused on one of the generating units. The remaining three units will continue operating as normal. The works are centred on ensuring the unit continues to operate reliably and safely. Activities include inspecting, repairing and replacing key components such as turbines, pumps, rotors, transformers and boiler pressure parts.
Greg says a range of measures are in place to keep Yallourn COVID safe.
“We’ve brought in extra portable offices, new lunch rooms and other facilities to help with physical distancing of the workers we’re hosting.
“We’ve also installed a temporary lift for workers to access different levels of the boiler-house, where most of the work is taking place. We’ve introduced knee-operated water taps, made ample hand sanitiser available and installed a tower crane for safer materials handling.
“Plus, we’ve appointed COVID marshals to keep watch and ensure people are following the COVID safety rules.
“We understand there is a requirement for all permitted workers to be vaccinated. At EnergyAustralia, we plan on meeting this important mandate.
“Keeping Yallourn COVID safe during a major maintenance program isn’t new to us – we did it successfully last year. I want to assure the community that their safety, and that of our people, is always number one.”