External engineers investigate Callide cooling tower incident

Callide Power Station (Unit C3)
Callide Power Station

CS Energy, operator of the Callide C Power Station, has appointed two external engineering experts to investigate the root cause of the incident on the Unit C3 cooling tower at Callide Power Station last week.

Related article: Callide Power Station offline after equipment failures

CS Energy CEO Andrew Bills announced the appointment of Breezewater Pty Ltd structural engineer Graeme Spencer, who has worked on other cooling tower failure investigations, and engineering firm Hartz EPM.

“These external engineers are leaders in their field and will help us understand what went wrong on the Unit C3 cooling tower and what needs to be done so that this does not happen again,” Bills said.

“Safety is our highest priority at CS Energy and we will do everything we can to support these external, independent experts in carrying out their work.”

This investigation is separate to the Queensland Workplace Health and Safety investigation that is also currently underway.

Investment in the Callide C cooling towers is part of a multi-year refurbishment. As part of this refurbishment, a maintenance program informed by engineers and the equipment manufacturer, has been adhered to.

Callide is currently offline after a series of incidents, with the status of its generating units as follows:

  • Unit B1 is online.
  • Unit B2 is offline for repairs to cabling and is forecast to return to service on 9 November.
  • The Callide C JV has advised the market that Unit C3’s forecast return to service date is 3 January 2023.
  • Recovery works on Unit C4 are continuing following the incident in May 2021 and it is expected to return to service in April 2023.

Related article: Dr Sean Brady to lead independent investigation into Callide incident

These return to service dates are based on the information available at this point in time and may be subject to further change. It not unusual for generators to adjust their return to service dates for units that are undergoing major maintenance or repairs, depending on issues identified during the process.

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