An accidental fire caused by a series of explosions at a power station in May cut electricity to half a million buildings and contributed to electricity prices in Queensland spiking for the second quarter of 2021 up to $128/MWh. As a result of the fire, one of the power station’s four generating units was seriously damaged.
According to a government statement published on Monday, the fourth unit will return to service by December next year.
“The entire Callide team have displayed an unwavering focus on returning the units safely and have worked methodically through the return to service process,” minister for energy, renewables and hydrogen Mick de Brenni said.
“I thank them for this achievement.”
Getting unit C3 back up and running has returned the power station’s capacity to almost 75%. Since June units B1 and B2 have also been brought back online.
Once the C3 unit ramps up to full capacity, the minister said the power station would generate up to 1,120 megawatts of energy for the national electricity grid.
The power station comprises two power plants with two generating units each (B1 and B2, and C3 and C4) is run by government owned CS Energy in a 50/50 joint venture with InterGen Australia. It was built in 2001 and is one of Queensland’s newest coal-fired power stations.
CS Energy CEO Andrew Bills said the agency was assisting with an independent investigation into the May fire being conducted by forensic engineer Dr Sean Brady.
“CS Energy is committed to understanding the facts that led to the C4 event so we can learn from it and improve the safety of our people and plant,” Bills said.