22/10/2007 - 15:52

Griffin claims success with Collie water diversion

22/10/2007 - 15:52

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Ric Stowe's private Griffin group is claiming success with its latest efforts to use its Collie collieries as a solution to the salinty issues plague the massive Wellington Dam.

Griffin claims success with Collie water diversion

Ric Stowe's private Griffin group is claiming success with its latest efforts to use its Collie collieries as a solution to the salinty issues plague the massive Wellington Dam.

Voids within the Griffin Coal mine area this winter took 2,900 megalitres of water from the East Collie River as part of a trial to divert saline water from entering the dam.

The trial, conducted with the Department of Water and Harvey Water, fits with Griffin's strategy. It is understood that Griffin proposed a desalination plant in the area where it is already building the Bluewaters power station.

Griffin Energy's 208MW Bluewaters 1 coal-fired power station, the first in the series of units to be built, is also currently under construction, and is expected to be completed in late 2008.

 

Below is the full release from Griffin:

The trial diversion of the East Collie River has been a success with results proving the technique can help return Wellington Dam to potable quality.

As part of the Collie River Salinity Recovery Project, Griffin Coal has worked in conjunction with the Department of Water and Harvey Water to successfully help reduce the salinity of the Wellington Dam.

The trial diversion commenced in 2005 and involves pumping the highly saline flows from the East Collie River into Griffin's disused Chicken Creek 4 mine void.

This year almost 2,900 megalitres of water, the equivalent of 1,158 Olympic swimming pools, has been diverted into the Chicken Creek mine void. This large volume of water contained about 13,700 tonnes of salt which would normally flow into Wellington Dam.

"When combined with the 13,362 tonnes of salt that was diverted in 2006, this has been a great result for the health and water quality of Wellington Dam," Griffin Coal Manager of Business Performance, Ian Pigott said.

In addition to reducing the salinity levels of Wellington Dam, the project has led to several other significant environmental benefits.

"The partnership with the Department of Water and Harvey Water has assisted in developing healthier and more diverse native plant and animal populations," Mr Pigott said.

Griffin has sown eight hectares of native tree species along a one kilometre frontage of the river near the trial diversion site and the Department of Water has funded the Collie Nursery to plant seedlings along the river bank.

"The trial diversion is the first project of its kind and has provided a framework for other innovative water solutions and opportunities to improve and better utilise water resources in the region," Mr Pigott said.

"We have proven the diversion technique works, now we must work with our partners and other stakeholders to develop a solution for the longer term and the treatment or disposal of the highly saline water diverted during the trial."

As the Chicken Creek mine void nears its capacity after a successful year, the trial stage will come to a close at the end of 2007. Griffin and its partners are determined to continue into the future, to explore options to that will improve the volume and quality of water that is available for use.

"The Wellington Dam is highly regarded by the Collie community, so we were happy to trial new concepts to improve its water quality," Mr Pigott said

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