$575m power station for Collie

THE biggest energy project to be undertaken in the south-west of the state, the new $575 million Collie Power Station, has been completed on budget. Western Power’s latest addition to its energy services is located on Coolangatta Farm, about ten kilometres along the Collie-Williams Road from Collie.

The single 300 megawatt (MW) unit power station is the biggest single generating unit on Western Power’s system.

Built by a consortium of Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) and Itochu Corporation, the first concrete was poured in March 1996 and, despite wet winters, good progress was made until a fire in the electrical services centre in June 1998.

The new plant has set several precedents. It is the first Western Power power station to be operated by a private operator – Pacific Western, a New South Wales company – and it is the most automated of Western Power’s coal-fired power stations, rivalling any similar power station in Australia.

The 170 metre stack is as tall as the Bankwest Tower, the boiler is as high as a 25 metre building and the power station building would cover Subiaco Oval.

Environmental considerations undertaken in the project are the most stringent ever imposed on a WA power station and a new transmission line was built from the Collie Power Station to reinforce the South West Intercon-nected System to supply the South West and Perth metropolitan area.

A new coal supply contract was awarded to Wesfarmers Coal.

Up to 900 people were working on the site at the peak of the construction phase and outstanding safety performance resulted in $27,000 being donated by AIC and Western Power to local community and charity groups.

The first electricity was generated and fed into the network on 21 December 1998 and the power station will be fully operational on Friday 4 June 1999.

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