A major coal-fired power station has been brought back into service overnight, providing a much-needed boost to the State’s overall energy supplies.
The Collie Power Station is the State’s biggest generating unit, able to produce about 330MW of electricity.
Energy Minister Francis Logan said bringing Collie back on line would reduce the amount of expensive diesel being used for power generation, and make more gas available for industry.
“I’m expecting some gas to be released to the market almost immediately through the Gas Bulletin Board at current market levels, and further quantities of gas at distillate prices,” Mr Logan said.
“This should add to the quite significant volumes of gas that have been made available on the bulletin board in recent days.”
The Minister said that while the return of the Collie Power Station and the availability of some additional gas was welcome news, it was still very important for people and businesses to reduce their overall energy use.
The return of the Collie Power Station would increase the level of spare capacity in the electricity system and provide the opportunity for other power stations to undertake necessary maintenance and upgrade work in the period leading up to summer.
“Since the explosion at Apache Energy’s plant on Varanus Island last month substantially reduced the State’s gas supply, the response of all Western Australians to this shortage has been magnificent,” Mr Logan said.
“Just in the last week, we have saved enough electricity to power Geraldton for 11 days.
“A substantial flow of gas is expected from Varanus Island next month, but full supplies are not going to be restored until later in the year.
“In addition, other power stations will have to go off-line for maintenance as we head into summer, so our overall energy use will still have to be carefully managed for the next few months.”
The Minister said the bulletin board was proving a useful tool in bringing sellers and potential buyers of gas together.
“As at the close of business yesterday, there were 23 registered traders and publicly disclosed trades have been at prices between $15.50 and $18.25 per terajoule,” he said.
“Larger volumes are starting to be offered, with postings up to 20 terajoules a day. It’s important that every spare terajoule of gas is able to be used by industry and the bulletin board is helping to achieve this.”
Mr Logan said the efforts of all involved in restoring the Collie Power Station were appreciated.
“I would like to congratulate staff at power station operator Transfield-Worley and Verve Energy, who have worked hard to get the generator back on line,” he said.
“This effort is much appreciated, as is the commitment by French-based equipment supplier Alstom which made special arrangements to deliver turbine blades to Collie to allow the project to be completed.”
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