Karratha power station achieves full generating capacity

ATCO Power’s new 86 MW Karratha generating station went into full commercial operation ahead of schedule in April, only 16 months after the environmentally progressive project was first announced.

Located 1600 KM north of Perth, in Western Australia, the natural gas-fired facility uses 35 per cent less gas to produce each kilowatt hour of electricity compared to existing generation, resulting in 35 per cent lower greenhouse gas emissions. Constructed, owned and operated by ATCO Power, Karratha will supply electricity to residential and business consumers on the Pilbara North West Interconnected System (NWIS) under a 20-year contract with state-owned Horizon Power.

“High levels of activity in the resource development sector have contributed to the need for additional power in Western Australia,” ATCO Power president, Rick Brouwer said.

“Adding generating capacity while at the same time being environmentally responsible demonstrates ATCO’s commitment to the region.” ATCO Power’s managing director, Australia operations, Geoff Walshe added, “We look forward to serving this region and continuing the positive working and business relationship with Horizon Power that allowed us to achieve today’s milestone ahead of schedule.”

Currently comprising two 43 MW high-efficiency gas turbines, the power station can be expanded with the addition of a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) that would generate additional electricity from waste heat.

“Horizon Power’s vision is to provide a highly reliable and efficient energy system to serve the growing needs of regional Western Australia and to significantly reduce the carbon emissions’ intensity of energy for the region,” Horizon Power managing director Rod Hayes said.

“This power station contributes very well to that vision.”

Karratha power station is ATCO Power’s 20th facility worldwide and the company’s third generating project in Australia. ATCO Power also operates a 180 MW co-generation station at Osborne in Adelaide and a 33 MW co-generation station at Bulwer Island in Brisbane.