Plans on display

PLANS for a new 1000 megawatt gas-fired power station at Yallourn are now on public display.

TRUenergy has proposed the new Combined Cycle Gas Turbine power station, to be built alongside its existing Yallourn W coal-fired generator, as a basleoad generator capable of meeting the energy needs of about 400,000 households each year – or about 15 per cent of the state’s energy needs.

It also claimed the CCGT technology would result in a 70 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas intensity “compared to traditional power generation from brown coal”.

TRUenergy said the benefits of a new power station which, under an ‘early start’ scenario, could commence construction as soon as 2014 and finish by late 2017, included employment opportunities during the plant’s construction and operation phases.

An Environment Effects Statement for the proposal is on public exhibition until 16 July.

An EES summary report reveals the project would include numerous major components, including a power station with cooling towers, a control room, a gas receiving station and carpark; a 6.5 kilometre gas pipeline, to be connected to the Longford-Dandenong gas pipeline, and a 10km electricity transmission line connecting to the existing Hazelwood-South Morang transmission line; a switchyard, and electrical infrastructure including generators, transformers, a substation and switchgear.

The summary report said the power station would be a natural gas-fuelled plant using ‘F’ class gas turbine technology. TruEnergy said this had a “substantial track record of reliable commercial service”.

While the report states the proposed plant would be a stand-alone development, it said “some of its components could be expanded at a later date or used for future developments”.

The timing of commencement of construction would be driven by “market conditions and government signals regarding carbon policy”, it said.

TRUenergy already operates several other gas power stations, including one using CCGT technology in Illawarra, though the proposed local project would have a much higher generation capacity. It has also proposed two gas-fired power stations for Ipswich in Queensland which, if developed, would have a total capacity of 1500MW. If approved, the company has predicted a possible 2013 start for the QLD plants, claiming at full capacity each would represent an investment of up to $1.8 billion.

The Express contacted TRUenergy to obtain information on the investment attached to the Yallourn project and the employment opportunities it expects to create. At the time of publication TRUenergy project manager Graham Dowers was unavailable for comment.

The EES is on public exhibition at a number of locations in the Latrobe Valley, including Latrobe City Council’s Morwell and Moe offices, the Department of Planning and Community Development in Hotham Street, Traralgon and the Environmental Protection Authority in Church Street, Traralgon. It is also available on TRUenergy’s website,