Queensland’s Wivenhoe power station has returned to normal operations, following a major overhaul that lasted for more than 100 days.
The $14 million overhaul created 100 jobs and will allow the 570MW power station to continue producing energy.
The works involved in the large-scale maintenance project included more than 170 tonnes of scaffolding, removing 200 thousand litres of oil from the power station, 78 tonnes of sandblasting, and close to 5000 litres of paint.
Wivenhoe is Queensland’s only pumped storage hydroelectric power station. As a fast ramping, flexible energy generator, it is a major contributor to the Queensland Government’s plans for 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
Queensland Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni said its role in guaranteeing power for Queensland is vital.
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Member for Bundamba and Assistant Minister for the 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target by 2030 Lance McCallum said the overhaul over the past 113 days involved some challenging situations.
“Much of the work was undertaken at considerable heights and in confined spaces requiring precision and experience,” McCallum said.
Wivenhoe Site Manager Trevor Turner said safety was the top priority during work.
He said another key aspect of the project’s success was maintaining community spirit on site.
“We staged a weekly barbecue bringing together the whole team – CleanCo staff and contractors – and raised thousands of dollars for community charities along the way,” Turner said.
Superintendent Darryl Gibb said it was one of the most successful maintenance overhauls he’s worked on.
“It’s a major thing to take operating units of a hydroelectric power station offline for such works, but it’s vital to ensure that the station continues to operate efficiently and effectively,” Gibb said.
He said specialist contractors working on the overhaul have been living in the local area throughout the works and this has been a good opportunity to form close working relationships.
“The overhaul of a hydroelectric station is challenging, so it was important that the team spirit remained strong and the famous Wivenhoe Saturday morning barbecues were a great opportunity for the overhaul team to celebrate their successes and also give back to the local community.”