Power stations returned to service

27 January 2016

Two of three power stations affected by fire in the Mersey Forth scheme in Tasmania’s north-west have been returned to service.

Fire last week burned large areas throughout the Mersey Forth power scheme. Rowallan, Fisher and Lemonthyme power stations were all affected.

“While there was little damage to the power stations, a significant amount of infrastructure associated with the stations was extensively damaged, including power poles, communications services and the transmission line between Fisher and Rowallan power stations,” said Chief Operating Officer, Mr Evangelista Albertini.

“As fire conditions eased, and we were advised it was safe to do so, our people have accessed the power stations to inspect their condition and start work on return to service,” he said.

“We have installed standby generators to provide power to equipment that controls the flow of water from Lake Mackenzie into and through Fisher Power Station and the hilltop valve that supplies Lemonthyme Power Station.”

Fisher and Lemonthyme power stations are now available for operation as part of the broader generation portfolio.

Damage is still being assessed to the transmission line serving Rowallan Power Station. It is expected to be at least a fortnight before Rowallan is returned to service.

Many of the power poles that have been downed by fire are in challenging terrain, and it’s expected to take at least a number of months to undertake a full repair. This will depend in part on ongoing weather and fire conditions.

The impact of the fires on these powers stations is inconvenient but has not resulted in any adverse impact on energy security for Tasmania.

Mr Albertini applauded the outstanding efforts of Tasmania Fire Service and TasNetworks staff who worked tirelessly and with great professionalism under trying circumstances to ensure protection of generation assets and to expedite access to damaged assets so that work on their return to service could start as quickly as was safely possible.

Ends.

Released by Samantha Meyer (03) 6230 5746

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