Callide B power station celebrates 30 years of generation

Callide B employees in front of cooling tower during commisioning 1987

Thirty years ago, World Expo 88 was underway in Brisbane, George Michael was topping the charts and Wally Lewis’ sin binning in State of Origin Game 2 sent Lang Park into a frenzy.

Less well known, is that in May 1988 the 700MW Callide B Power Station near Biloela was officially opened by the then Queensland Premier Mike Ahern.

At the time of Callide B’s opening it was owned by the former Queensland Electricity Commission and was transferred over to CS Energy when the company was formed in 1997.

In the years since, Callide B has generated more than 100,000GWh of electricity as one of Queensland’s baseload power stations.

Executive general manager operations Mark Albertson said the coal-fired Callide B continues to be an important asset in CS Energy’s generation portfolio.

“Callide B can generate enough electricity to power almost one million homes,” Mr Albertson said.

Out of the 200 people working at Callide today, 14 were there when Callide B first opened back in 1988, including supervisor site chemistry Bruce Kerr.

“A lot has changed in the power generation industry in the past 30 years,” Mr Kerr said.

“When Callide B first opened, it wouldn’t be uncommon for people to come to work in short sleeves in summer.

“In the decades since, we’ve changed to wearing high vis protective clothing that is much more suitable for a power station work environment.

“The nuts and bolts of Callide B may still be the same but the station’s control system has also been upgraded in the ensuing years to keep up with advances in information and control technology.

“And in 2001, the highly efficient supercritical Callide C Power Station opened next door.”