Pilbara power station officially opened

The South Hedland Power Station

The South Hedland Power Station in Western Australia has officially opened.

Using combined-cycle natural gas, the power station will deliver 150MW of the most fuel-efficient energy in the Pilbara.

The project is the result of a joint initiative between the state government and Horizon Power.

An extensive procurement process funded by the state government and driven by Horizon Power awarded the contract to build, maintain and operate the station to Canadian energy company, TransAlta.

This followed two years of negotiations, designed to deliver power to the Pilbara at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers.

“We are celebrating more than the successful commissioning of this innovative power station – we are celebrating a great partnership between the state government and industry,” WA Energy Minister Ben Wyatt said.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about supporting the people of the Pilbara by delivering a safe, reliable and fuel-efficient energy supply well into the future.”

IHI Engineering Australia was contracted as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the state-of-the-art 150MW combined-cycle gas turbine power plant.

The opening marks the successful delivery by IHI of more than 500MW in total around the Pilbara.

Managing director Satoshi Nochide said the South Hedland Power Station was a key component of the Pilbara’s electricity infrastructure and will support economic development in the region for decades to come.

“This achievement is a testament to our strategy for building long-term trust and relationships with our clients through consistent performance, while achieving leading safety and quality,” Mr Nochide said.

“We are honoured that many clients such as TransAlta have awarded repeat business to IHI over several decades.”

IHI commenced the South Hedland Power Station project for TransAlta in 2014, successfully achieving commercial operation in July 2017.

The plant has been generating electricity for customers since July and will supply residents and industry throughout the Pilbara as well as major resource companies in the region.

The plant incorporates three IHI LM6000PF gas turbine packages combined with a steam turbine to further increase efficiency.

The plant is also dual fuel capable, allowing it to operate on either natural gas or distillate enabling reliable and low emission supply.

“South Hedland Power Station is the first LM6000 combined cycle plant in Australia and one of the most efficient and environmentally sensitive in WA,” Mr Nochide said.