October 4, 2012

Work on the recovery of the Yallourn mine and a second conveyor for the Yallourn power station is continuing to progress despite recent high rainfall.

Recovery work on a permanent repair of the Morwell River Diversion is underway and this is expected to take eight months to complete depending on weather.

TRUenergy Yallourn’s Group Executive Manager, Operations and Construction, Michael Hutchinson, said: “The river-to-river piping system that was commissioned last month has allowed us to pump the average Morwell River flows directly into the Latrobe River and that has been important in allowing the recovery work to progress. However recent heavy rain and high river flows has seen some additional water entering the mine extending the overall dewatering efforts.

“Our focus has continued to be on managing river flows via piping and on reducing water levels in the East Field section of the mine through pumping, so we can recover and reinstate a second coal conveyor to ensure we have a reliable supply of sufficient coal for peak electricity demand in summer. In challenging conditions on site our team is making good progress on having the second conveyor operating next month,” he said.

Water discharges from the mine continue to comply with Environment Protection Authority (EPA) discharge approvals and Yallourn would seek an extension to the discharge approval to allow controlled and monitored pumping to continue in the lead up to the peak summer months.

As part of its compliance with its discharge approval, Yallourn has also now provided EPA with an assessment of the environmental risks associated with the pumping of water from the mine.

The assessment was conducted by independent environmental engineers, SKM, in accordance with the EPA Guidelines for Risk Assessment of Wastewater Discharges to Waterways.

“The overall assessment is that the discharge of water from the Yallourn mine into the Latrobe River represents a low risk to the environment and ecology of the river and the Gippsland Lakes,” Mr Hutchinson said.

The comprehensive and detailed report is being considered by the EPA.