Callide workers complete major overhaul to bring units back online

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Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni has thanked workers at Callide Power Station for their efforts following the completion of a four-month, $37 million overhaul program at the site.

The 350 megawatt B2 generating unit was brought back online, following an earlier overhaul of the 420 MW C3 generating unit from March – April, which together made up the program of works.

Callide’s B1 unit also returned to service overnight following maintenance.

Minister de Brenni said that global energy prices are rising, so getting the State’s power stations back to full operation means downward pressure can be put on prices.

“We now have three quarters of the generating units at the Callide Power Station back online,” Minister de Brenni said.

“In further important news for energy security for Queenslanders, I can also confirm the manufacturing of the final turbine (C4) is on track.

“That means we’ll have the full power station at Callide operational in the first half of 2023, creating more energy security and putting downward pressure on prices,” he said.

Minister de Brenni said the overhauls supported good jobs and better services for Queenslanders and were estimated to have generated more than $3 million in flow-on benefits to Central Queensland.

“Callide overhauls bring a real economic boost to the Biloela region in particular, both from the extra workers onsite and the flow-on benefits to local service industries such as accommodation providers, caterers and transport companies,” Minister de Brenni said. 

“The overhauls had a peak workforce of approximately 270 people, which include approximately 220 contractors and 50 employees from Callide Power Station who worked around the clock to undertake this critical maintenance. 

“The overhaul contractor workforce was drawn from CS Energy’s Asset Management Alliance Partner Downer Group, and major contractors Intertek and Solaft,” he said.

CS Energy CEO Andrew Bills said overhauls are a significant investment in the ongoing operation and maintenance of CS Energy’s power stations. 

“The Callide overhauls included inspections, maintenance and repairs of power station equipment to keep it operating safely and reliably,” Mr Bills said. 

“Some of the key works were in the B2 furnace where workers used 260 metres of tube and six wall panels to replace 300 tubes and performed 670 welds. 

“CS Energy is supporting Queensland’s future energy needs by maintaining its thermal power stations while also investing in batteries, renewables and green hydrogen.” 

CS Energy continues to work on restoring the C4 unit that was damaged in May 2021. This work is separate to the 2022 overhauls, and is a unique and complex project. The current forecast return to service date is in April 2023.

The main components being replaced are the turbine, generator, generator transformer, automatic voltage regulator for the generator and the turbine governor. Activity at site will ramp up in the second half of 2022 when replacement components for Unit C4 begin arriving from overseas.  

Callide Power Station is comprised of two power plants, Callide B and C, each with two generating units (B1 and B2, C3 and C4). CS Energy owns 100 per cent of Callide B and owns Callide C in a 50/50 joint venture (JV) with InterGen Australia.

Images: New components for Unit C4.

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