Loy Yang A power station

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Loy Yang-A power station is a 2,215-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Victoria, Australia.

Location

The map below shows the location of the plant, near Traralgon South, Victoria.

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Background on Plant

Loy Yang A power station is 2,215 megawatt (MW) brown-coal fired power station in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, Australia. The power station and the associated Loy Yang mine are owned by Loy Yang Power, which in turn is owned by AGL.

The power station has a nominal output of 2,215 megawatts of electricity which Loy Yang Power states supplies "the equivalent of one third of the State's electricity needs". The power station comprises four generating units - three 560 megawatt units and one 535 megawatt unit. The power station burns brown coal from the adjacent Loy Yang mine. [1]

The first two generating units were commissioned in 1984 and the second two in 1987. The power station, which is the largest brown coal fired power station in Australia, was assessed in 2003 as having an average annual "sent out thermal efficiency" of approximately 31% (HHV).[2]

At the time of taking over the company AGL's Managing Director and CEO, Michael Fraser stated that the Loy Yang A power station "provides 30 per cent of Victoria’s energy needs and is one of the lowest cost generators in the National Electricity Market."[3]

In a 2009 brochure, Loy Yang Power stated that the power station:[4]

  • supplies "supplying approximately one third" of Victoria's electricity;
  • Loy Yang Power’s capacity is "the equivalent of more than 8% of total generation for Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory."
  • construction of the power station began in 1977 while the initial mining of overburden at the mine began in 1982;
  • Loy Yang Power consumes "approximately 60,000 tonnes of brown coal a day";
  • "the boiler consists of a labyrinth of tubes where water is heated and converted to high pressure steam by boiler furnace temperatures of up to 1,300oC."
  • each of the four boilers consumes approximately one million litres of water an hour;
  • the exhaust gases are vented via two 260 metre high chimneys;

Ownership

The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL.[3][5]

Between April 2004 and June 29, 2012 the company was owned by the Great Energy Alliance Corporation, which comprised as its shareholders AGL (32.5%), Tokyo Electric Power Company (32.5%), MTAA Super (11.9%), Transfield Services Infrastructure Fund (14%), Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA) Superannuation Fund (12.8%), Westscheme (5.7%) and Statewide Super (2.5%).[5] In June 2012 AGL bought the 67.46 % of shares and loan notes that it did not already own for $448 million.[3]

Loy Yang Power was first created as a corporatised publicly owned generation company in February 1995 as the first step in the Jeff Kennett era privatisation of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria. Loy Yang Power was privatised in May 1997.[5]

Long-term future of plant

In October 2018 Loy Yang's operations manager suggested that the plant might only remain open until 2038, ten years short of its 50-year operating life, and that operations beyond 2038 would depend upon market conditions.[6]

Pollution

The power station is located near Traralgon and, according to the company, "emitted 19,677,128 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2-e) in 2010 making LYP one of the largest single point source emitters of greenhouse gas in Australia.[7]

In April 2018 data from the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) showed that mercury output from Loy Yang B had more than doubled over five years, to 831 kg per year. This figure was more than 640 times the airborne mercury pollution of Eraring power station near Newcastle, New South Wales, despite the fact that Eraring produces three times as much energy as Loy Yang B. The pollution gap between the two power stations is an example of the failure of state-based regulators to properly and consistently control air pollution, Environmental Justice Australia researcher Dr James Whelan said. "The intention of the NPI is that you will actually control air pollution. There’s no excuse not to control it.”[8]

Handout from carbon tax package

AGL's subsidiary received $240,116,761.67 of the $1 billion cash payments given out in 2011/12[9] to the operators of the most polluting coal-fired power stations. The cash was paid from the Energy Security Fund which was established as a part of the carbon tax legislation passed in 2011.[10][11]

Protests

On September 3, 2007, activists from Real Action on Climate Change chained themselves to the coal conveyor belt from the Loy Yang mine which supplies coal to the brown-coal-fired Loy Yang A Power Station and Loy Yang B Power Station in Traralgon, Australia. Two people attached themselves using lock on devices inside the conveyor belt room, and others hung several large banners from the plant. The action took place several days before an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Sydney, and was intended to draw attention to Prime Minister John Howard's failure to limit Australian carbon emissions. Four people were arrested.[12][13]

Waste disposal

On its website, Loy Yang Power states that adjacent to the power station is a 56 hectare ash pond containing 9.8 million cubic metres of ash. "The ash pond is used to collect the ash and dust removed from the boiler and draft plant of both Loy Yang Power and Loy Yang B. The ash and dust is mixed with water to form a slurry, which is pumped, to the ash pond. The ash and dust then settles from the slurry and the water is recycled back to the power station to be reused in the ash disposal process. Excess saline waste from all Latrobe Valley generators is pumped to the Loy Yang Ash Pond for disposal via an ocean outfall."[1]

National Pollutant Inventory Data

The Australian's Government's National Pollutant Inventory lists emissions from the Loy Yang A power station for 2008/2009 as being:[14]

Substance Air Total (kg) Air Fugitive (kg) Air Point (kg) Land (kg) Water (kg) Total (kg)
Ammonia (total) 25,000 25,000 25,000
Arsenic & compounds 60 1.1 59 60
Beryllium & compounds 34 0.71 33 34
Boron & compounds 31,000 16 31,000 31,000
Cadmium & compounds 49 0.082 49 2.6 52
Carbon monoxide 4,300,000 3,800 4,300,000 4,300,000
Chromium (III) compounds 190 12 180 26 210
Chromium (VI) compounds 120 120 120
Copper & compounds 130 5.6 120 26 150
Fluoride compounds 9,400 41 9,400
Hydrochloric acid 9,000,000 9,000,000 9,000,000
Lead & compounds 160 1.1 160 26 190
Manganese & compounds 4,100 7.2 4,100 130 4,200
Mercury & compounds 31 0.14 31 2.6 34
Nickel & compounds 680 11 660 26 700
Oxides of Nitrogen 38,000,000 8,700 38,000,000 38,000,000
Particulate Matter 10.0 um 2,800,000 1,500,000 1,300,000 2,800,000
Particulate Matter 2.5 um 850,000 850,000 850,000
Polychlorinated dioxins and furans (TEQ) 0.00036 0.00036 0.00036
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (B[a]Peq) 16 0.015 16
Sulfur dioxide 66,000,000 430 66,000,000 66,000,000
Sulfuric acid 31,000 31,000 31,000
Total Volatile Organic Compounds 2,300 400 1,900 2,300
Zinc and compounds 1,500 11 1,400 190 1,600

Plant Details

  • Sponsor: Loy Yang Power Management
  • Parent company: AGL Energy, TEPCO, RATCH-Australia, and MTAA Super
  • Location: Traralgon South, Victoria, Australia
  • Coordinates: -38.2524141, 146.5753338 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Gross capacity: 2,215 MW (Units 1, 3, & 4: 560 MW; Unit 2: 535 MW)
  • Type: Subcritical
  • In service: 1984-87
  • Coal type:
  • Coal source:
  • Source of financing:

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Loy Yang Power, "What we do: Power Generation: Facts", Loy Yang Power website, accessed August 2010.
  2. J. Nunn, A. Cottrell, A. Urfer, L. Wibberley and P. Scaife, "A Lifecycle Assessment of the Victorian Energy Grid", Cooperative Research Centre for Coal in Sustainable Development, February 2003, page 7. (Pdf).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "AGL completes purchase of Loy Yang A power station and adjacent mine", Media Release, June 29, 2012.
  4. Loy Yang Power, "Loy Yang Power", Loy Yang Power, September 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Ownership", Loy Yang Power website, accessed August 2012.
  6. Loy Yang to remain until 2048: AGL, Latrobe Valley Express, Oct. 25, 2018
  7. Loy Yang Power, "2010 Sustainability Report", Loy Yang Power, September 2011, page 41.
  8. Coal-fired power stations caused surge in airborne mercury pollution, study finds, The Guardian, Apr. 3, 2018
  9. Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency,"Generation complexes eligible to receive Energy Security Fund cash payments", Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website, July 9, 2012.
  10. Australian Government, "An overview of the Clean Energy Legislative Package", Clean Energy Future website, accessed January 2013.
  11. Energy Security Council, "About the Council", Energy Security Council website, accessed January 2013.
  12. Climate Protest Shuts Down Power Station, ABC News, September 3, 2007.
  13. Disrupting Loy Yang, Real Action on Climate Change blog, September 3, 2007.
  14. National Pollutant Inventory, "2008/2009 report for LOY YANG POWER MANAGEMENT P/L, Loy Yang Power - Traralgon, VIC ", Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, March 2010.

Resources

External links