COAL FIRED: Callide Power Stations B and C.
COAL FIRED: Callide Power Stations B and C.

Power station overhaul: Major works to begin in days

THE State Government is predicting a multimillion-dollar flow-on effect for Biloela when a $60 million overhaul at Callide Power Station starts in 10 days.

Strict hygiene measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19 will be in place when up to 60 specialist interstate contractors arrive to help overhaul two of Callide's four units.

The project is expected to create work for about 140 Queensland contractors with an estimated $6 million in flow-on benefits for Biloela.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said jobs would be created for electricians, boilermakers, riggers, fitters, welders, scaffolders and crane drivers as well as interstate specialist weld testers and generator circuit-breaker technicians.

"The overhaul workforce will take up rooms in our local accommodation across the Banana Shire, eat in local restaurants and spend their days off relaxing and supporting cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs and other businesses," he said.

"That's extra customers and dollars coming through the doors until the overhaul ends on 30 November."

Dr Lynham said Callide's operator CS Energy had worked closely with Queensland Health on extra COVID-safe measures to help keep power station workers and communities safe.

"With the extra workers on site, CS Energy has ramped up those measures, which include limits for the number of people in work spaces, crib huts and buses to and from site, increased cleaning and staggered meal breaks, extra hygiene stations around site, controls around lifts, and all workers signing a COVID-19 declaration before attending site," he said.

"The overhaul program itself is also now taking longer than usual to accommodate COVID-safe measures like social distancing."

CS Energy is overhauling the B1 and C4 generating units at Callide Power Station to ensure they operate safely and reliably, particularly over the summer peak demand period.

The power station's two remaining units will continue to generate electricity.

Dr Lynham said the overhauls would be completed by the end of November so Callide Power Station would be ready for summer.

Queensland's publicly owned electricity companies are investing more than $2.2 billion on capital works in 2019-20, supporting up to 4900 jobs, according to the State Government.