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26 May, 2021

Morning update on the situation at Callide Power Station

CS Energy CEO Andrew Bills said the company’s priority is the health and safety of its people following an incident at Callide Power Station recently.


Photo: CS Energy

Speaking to media outside Callide Power Station yesterday morning, Mr Bills said CS Energy was relieved that everyone who was on site yesterday had been accounted for and is safe, with no injuries.

“Our people remain our priority,” Mr Bills said. “We are providing support to our employees and this will continue for as long as it is needed.

“I have already spoken to some of our people and will be talking with the Callide workforce this morning to check in on how they are going and to see firsthand the response to the incident.

“I would like to thank our people on site who responded to the event in such a professional and calm manner.

“Thank you to our colleagues at AEMO, Powerlink and Energy Queensland who have worked throughout the night to restore power to people’s homes and businesses and keep the grid safe.

"I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the emergency services crews who attended site.”

Mr Bills said CS Energy recognised the events that occurred at Callide had impacted people and businesses throughout Queensland.

“We appreciate the efforts of Queenslanders to conserve energy. I understand blackouts are disruptive. That’s why our focus is on understanding the cause of the incident and importantly what needs to be done to get our units safely back online.”

Summary of key facts known at this stage:

  • At 1.45pm yesterday there was a fire in the Turbine Hall for Callide C4. There were reports of explosions which we do not know the cause or source of at this time.
  • Subsequently both Callide C units and 1 Callide B unit tripped and came offline. One Callide B unit was already on an outage for maintenance.
  • The emergency evacuation measures were enacted, and the site evacuated. All 236 personnel at site were accounted for with no injuries.
  • Emergency services attended and took control of the site.
  • At approximately 9:30pm last night, after it was deemed safe to do so, a limited number of critical staff were allowed access to site.
  • At midnight, emergency services handed control of the site back to CS Energy.
  • Based on an initial inspection overnight, Unit C4 has experienced major damage and failure of the turbine. It will take some time to fully understand the cause of the failure and the steps that will need to take to repair the unit.
  • The unit that has been damaged is jointly owned by CS Energy and Intergen and we will be working closely with our joint venture partner as part of this process.
  • It is too early to say with certainty when unit 4 will be operational again, however based on currently available information, we have informed the market operator this morning that the unit will be available in 12 months. As we know more, we will share this information.
  • We are assessing the damage to other three units. This will be our priority today so that we can work out a plan to bring those units back safely.
  • We are in constant contact with AEMO the market operator and Powerlink the transmission network operator as to the status of our plant.
  • A full investigation with appropriate experts and authorities will be undertaken to understand what has occurred and led to what appears to be a major incident.
  • As we gain greater access to site and develop a plan to return the units to operation we will provide further updates

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