CS Energy’s Callide C3’s partial and gradual return to service has been delayed until January 24, with the management citing hot and wet weather, the conflict in Gaza and Covid.
C3 was due to return to partial service on January 7, 2024, and full service in February 2024.
Callide C4, being completely rebuilt after a catastrophic explosion, is expected to return to partial service in May 2024 and full service in July.
Callide C has a generating capacity of 848 MW, but Units 3 and 4 are both out of action after an explosion and structural collapse.
Callide Power Station is situated at Mount Murchison. It is coal-powered with eight steam turbines with a combined generation capacity of 1,720 megawatts (MW) of electricity.
Callide A was commissioned in 1965, refurbished in 1998 and decommissioned in 2015.
Callide B was commissioned in 1988 with two 350 MW steam turbines. Callide B’s originally planned 2038-39 closure has been brought forward to 2028.
Callide C was commissioned in 2001 with two 405 MW advanced cycle steam turbines.
It uses supercritical boiler technology to burn coal to generate electricity and is scheduled to operate till 2050. As of 2018, the generation capacity was 1510 MW.
The coal for Callide comes from the nearby Callide Coalfields, and water from the Awoonga Dam and Stag Creek Pipeline is used for cooling.
C3’s partial return pushed back to January 24 2024
Unit C3 was taken offline in October 2022 due to a cooling tower structural failure.
Subsequent inspections determined that the cooling towers for both the C3 and the C4 units would have to be replaced.
CS Energy had originally expected both C3 and C4 to return to service in February 2023 before announcing rolling delays till April, September, October, and then into 2024.
The C3 unit was more recently scheduled to make a partial return to service on January 7.
This date was pushed back to January 24. The latest delays were blamed on rain and hot weather and staffing problems because of COVID and other illnesses.
CS Energy said the repairs were also affected by global supply chain issues made worse by freighters being diverted for humanitarian aid for the Gaza conflict and problems in India.
The C3 unit is expected to return to full capacity on February 24.
The total cost of the repairs is estimated to be around $400 million, possibly more.
Callide C4’s return to service is slated for May 2024
C4 has been out of service since May 2021 due to an explosion that rocked the grid and plunged part of Brisbane into a blackout.
The blackout affected over 375,000 premises and caused increased power prices for weeks.
The hydrogen-filled generator had a catastrophic failure, resulting in considerable damage.
Its return has been beset with delays. It was initially hoped to be completed by December 2022. But in November 2022, the expected completion was October 2023.
C4 will be rebuilt entirely, and it is expected to return to half capacity on May 19 before returning to total output in July. The latest delay has been blamed on critical parts held up in ports overseas, at sea, and on arrival in Queensland.
Callide C3 unit has a capacity of 424 MW, with an overload capacity of 466 MW if required by the market.
The new C4 unit has the same design capacity. Still, it must complete relevant testing during recommissioning before it can be registered with an overload of 466 MW.
CS Energy CEO Darren Busine said about 300 people are “working around the clock, seven days a week on-site”, and a logistics specialist has coordinated the movement of more than 1,000 tonnes of freight from around the world.
“This is a highly complex and unique project, and I would like to acknowledge the efforts of everyone involved to progress the works to this stage. We are doing everything we can to have the unit back online as soon as possible.”
CS Energy owns 100 per cent of the Callide B coal plant and Callide C in a joint venture with IG Power.
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