Callide C4 partial return-to-service date pushed back

Aerial image of pultruded cooling towers at Callide Power Station
New pultruded cooling towers at Callide Power Station

Callide C Power Station’s Unit C4 has had its partial return-to-service date pushed back to 22 July from 30 June. The date for the unit reaching full capacity remains at 31 July.

On 25 May 2021 an incident occurred on Unit C4 at Callide Power Station that caused extensive damage to the unit and had a significant impact on the transmission network. The power station was safely evacuated and no one was injured.

Related article: Callide C4 incident “could not have been anticipated”

CS Energy’s analysis found that the Unit C4 incident was the result of the simultaneous failure of key electrical equipment and system backups in a series of complex events that could not have been anticipated.

CS Energy CEO Darren Busine said the change in date was to account for the availability of specialists, and to allow extra time for testing and managing emergent work during the recommissioning of the unit.

“We are being extra diligent and taking all necessary precautions in returning C4 to service—the safety of our people and plant is our priority,” Busine said.

“The change in C4’s return to service date is unrelated to the rebuild of its new cooling tower, which remains on schedule.

“However, the work happening in parallel to recommission Unit C4 has been impacted by the availability of overseas based specialists needed to perform critical work, and additional work that has emerged during the recommissioning process.

“We will return the unit in a staged manner, bringing it online at partial capacity on 22 July and then carry out further testing before gradually returning it to full capacity.”

Busine said the project to re-construct Callide C’s cooling towers and reinstate its two units had been one of the most complex of its kind undertaken in this country in the past 20 years.

“The team at Callide has been put in an extraordinary effort to safely manage a technically and logistically challenging project.”

Related article: New pultruded cooling towers for Callide

Callide Power Station is comprised of two power plants, Callide B and C, each with two generating units (B1 and B2, C3 and C4).

Three of Callide’s four generating units are operational—units B1, B2 and C3 are all generating electricity. Unit C3 was returned to service on 1 April and reached full capacity on 16 April.

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