EnergyAustralia racing to maintain Yallourn coal power supply

The owner of Victoria’s Yallourn coal-fired power station says it is doing everything it can to bring its fourth generating unit back to service before it is forced to take another offline to deal with an emerging maintenance issue.

As the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) starts winding back a series of emergency measures across the grid because of the diminishing threat of blackouts, EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn generator in the Latrobe Valley has had to delay the return of one of its units a week longer than originally planned.

EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.Credit:Joe Armao

“Another generating unit will come offline in the coming week to fix an emerging maintenance issue, and we are doing all that we can to sequence this after our current offline unit returns,” EnergyAustralia managing director Mark Collette said.

“We are prepared for any unplanned outages – our gas-fired assets continue to operate at seven times their normal volume compared with last year, serving a major role in keeping the lights on for all customers.”

EnergyAustralia’s 1480-megawatt Yallourn power station supplies about 20 per cent of Victoria’s electricity.

The news comes after the east-coast electricity system was thrown into chaos last week, forcing AEMO to seize control of the market for the first time in its history to stabilise power supplies and avert intensifying threats of blackouts in multiple states.

Many power generators said they could not remain viable under restricted caps which AEMO had imposed to halt surging wholesale electricity prices, prompting them to withdraw offers to supply the grid.

But supply has since come surging back, AEMO said, with around 4000 megawatts, or about one-fifth of the electricity grid’s average demand, coming back online in the past week following withdrawals, planned outages and some technical failures at coal-fired power stations.

Power giant AGL has restored two units at its Bayswater power plant in NSW, while a third unit that has been under maintenance since March was due back in early July.

EnergyAustralia returned two units at its Mt Piper station following maintenance works during the weekend.

AEMO chief executive Daniel Westerman this week said generators had been working hard to resolve the crisis, and a “step by step” exit from the suspension had begun at 4am on Thursday morning.

Collette said EnergyAustralia was continually consulting AEMO on the “availability of our generating assets across Australia”.

The Business Briefing newsletter delivers major stories, exclusive coverage and expert opinion. Sign up to get it every weekday morning.

Most Viewed in Business

From our partners

Source: Read Full Article