Aerial View of the Gladstone Power Station.

Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer
Aerial View of the Gladstone Power Station. Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer Brenda Strong GLA040712VIEW

Power station responds to reports of two outages in two days

BREAKDOWNS, or planned and unplanned outages, at the Gladstone Power Station are not a concern but part of normal operations, according to the acting general manager.

The comments were in response to think tank The Australia Institute's analysis that showed there were seven coal-fired power plant breakdowns between March 1 - 8 in Queensland.

Of those, two breakdowns occurred at the Gladstone Power Station within two days.

The Canberra-based researchers have renewed calls for an increase in renewable energy in its ongoing reporting of outages at gas and coal-fired power stations.

But Gladstone Power Station acting general manager Nigel Warrington said there was

Gladstone Power Station acting general manager Nigel Warrington.
Nigel Warrington.

While he declined to respond to whether The Australia Institute's public reporting of station trips was a good or a bad thing for the industry, Mr Warrington said the power station had fewer outages this summer compared to previous years.

Rather than breakdowns, Mr Warrington told The Observer, he referred to the events as "planned or unplanned outages".

"Both planned and unplanned work on Gladstone Power Station's six units is a normal part of power station operation," he said.

"As with our current overhaul, at least one unit in our total of six units needs to be off for maintenance at a planned time, and therefore we are programmed to operate at an average 80-90 per cent availability.

"This is factored into Queensland's total electricity generation, and if one Queensland power station is undertaking maintenance or has an unplanned outage, other stations can immediately increase output to cover

the demand and ensure there are no power shortages."

Mr Warrington said the company, which is Queensland's largest electricity generator, believed in a technology- neutral energy mix.

Australia Institute principal adviser Mark Ogge has been tracking the rate of trips and told The Observer last month it was evidence coal and gas plants could not withstand soaring temperatures.