June 24, 2019

The Yallourn power station generates enough electricity every day to supply 2 million Australian homes. More than 500 people work at the plant and it spends millions of dollars every year with local businesses.

We’re working hard to make Yallourn more efficient. At the same time, we continue to talk to stakeholders, including our workers and the community, to support opportunities and plan for the transition already underway in the Latrobe Valley. And we’re investing to modernise Australia’s energy system with new, cleaner power generation.

Australia’s shrinking capacity to generate reliable energy has been a major cause of rising household power prices. Losing Yallourn’s electricity supply would, without careful planning, compound the problem and impact the local community.

Our plans are to run the plant to 2032 or for as long as policy and regulation permit, and there’s not a substantial change in the market.

We have promised our workers and the local community that, should things change, and circumstances remain within our control, we will give at least five years’ notice before closing Yallourn.  

Notes to editors:

  • The Yallourn power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, commissioned in the 1970s, has nameplate generation capacity up to 1480 MW, equivalent to about a fifth of the state’s electricity demand.
  • More than 500 people work at Yallourn; the plant employs unit operators, tradespeople, apprentices and office workers. The plant can spend $300 million on local goods and services in a year in which major maintenance is done.
  • Yallourn is one of the country’s highest emitting power plants. That’s why we’re investing in maintenance and upgrades to make the plant more efficient. For example, in 2015 EnergyAustralia completed a major maintenance program at Yallourn which allowed the plant to produce power for another 100,000 homes without having to burn more coal.
  • We support the recommendation contained in the recent report, Interim Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria (2021-2030), that the Victorian government, generation businesses, unions and the Latrobe Valley community consult and collaborate in the formulation of policy responses and business decisions to achieve a planned and just transition.
  • We’re talking to the state government, the local council and community groups about the transition and how it can be made as smooth as possible. While it’s early, we are clear about what we have to do – find ways to replace Yallourn’s capacity with cleaner power and create new jobs.
  • When the Hazelwood power station – similar in size to Yallourn – closed in 2017 around a fifth of Victoria’s generation was lost, which directly correlated with household power prices surging to record highs.
  • Yallourn has coal reserves to operate until 2032; then the plant will close, and the site will be rehabilitated. In fact, we’re already rehabilitating more ground than we disturb each year.
  • When the work is done there’ll be a lake and parklands. From around 2032 we plan to start filling the Yallourn mine with water. Our final rehabilitation involves creating a lake with volume 90 times greater than Lake Narracan and three-and-a-half times Blue Rock Lake.
  • For more information on how EnergyAustralia is leading a transition from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of energy: