April 29, 2015

The latest major outage at EnergyAustralia's Yallourn Power Station will complete a five-year project to improve efficiency, allowing Yallourn to produce power for 25,000 extra homes from the same amount of coal.

The last of four High and Intermediate Pressure (HIP) turbines will be installed in Unit 2, improving the unit's efficiency by 3 per cent. This will save 100,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

While the main purpose of the outage is to install the new turbine, Yallourn employees and contractors will also gain access to normally inaccessible areas of the plant to perform inspections and maintenance.

For 60 days from April 8 to June 9, workers are carrying out hundreds of tasks to ensure the ongoing safety and integrity of the plant as part of the inspection and maintenance schedule.

EnergyAustralia Yallourn Power Station Executive Manager Mark Pearson said all workers will focus on safety while following the busy outage schedule.

"A major outage is one of the busiest times at the power station and we have undergone a rigorous planning process to ensure tasks are completed safely, effectively and on time," Mr Pearson said.

"During these periods of increased activity, it's really important that everyone involved works efficiently and safely to achieve the best outcomes.

"One injury at work is one too many, so we all work hard to ensure everyone goes home safely, not only during major outages but as part of everyday operations at Yallourn."

Yallourn's outage is expected to contribute $20 million to the Latrobe Valley economy, through wages, services and the manufacture and delivery of materials and equipment.

More than 20 local contracting companies and individual contractors have been called upon to take up the 200 extra jobs created during the outage. Fitters, welders, scaffolders, electricians and other specialised tradespeople will be required to carry out these complex tasks.

Mr Pearson said benefits of this major outage were twofold.

"While major outages are a very important part of managing Yallourn's operational efficiency, they also give us an opportunity to provide local jobs and buy local materials as much as possible to complete maintenance," he said.