Update on fires affecting the Mersey Forth power scheme

24 January 2016

Power stations affected by fire in the Mersey Forth scheme in Tasmania’s north west are being progressively returned to service.

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

“As a result of Hydro Tasmania’s ongoing program of vegetation management, the stations have received little real damage,” said Chief Operating Officer, Mr Evangelista Albertini.

“However, a significant amount of infrastructure associated with the stations has been extensively damaged, including power poles, communications services and the transmission line between Fisher and Rowallan power stations.”

Mr Albertini said over the weekend Hydro Tasmania teams 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.

“As a result, we expect Fisher Power Station to be available for operation on Thursday 28 January. Lemonthyme Power Station has already been returned to service,” he said.

“Many of the power poles that have been downed by fire are in challenging terrain, and it may take several weeks to restore them. The priority at this stage is restoring output from Rowallan Power Station.”

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

Mr Albertini noted 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.

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