Anglesea Power Station

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Anglesea Power Station is located at Anglesea, in Victoria, Australia within the floristically rich Anglesea Heath area. It is brown coal powered with one steam turbine with a capacity of 150MW of electricity, supplying almost 40% of the electricity used by the nearby Point Henry aluminium smelter, operated by Alcoa of Australia. The power station was brought online on 20 March 1969,[1] and is supplied with coal by the adjacent open cut mine, transported to the power station along a 3 kilometre long private road. Overburden is stripped and backfilled into the mined area by earthmoving contractors using conventional power shovels and trucks.

From 1955 test bores for coal were made at Anglesea by the Roche Brothers, who were then operating a mine at nearby Wensleydale where the coal reserves were dwindling. An extensive coal deposit was found two kilometres to the north of the Anglesea township, with mining commencing in 1959 to supply brown coal to industry and institutions in the Geelong area. The mining rights were taken over by Western Mining Corporation (WMC) in 1961 to supply the power station planned by Alcoa of Australia. The Mines (Aluminum Agreement) Act of 1961 granted Alcoa a 50 year exclusive right to explore and mine over some 7,350 hectares of leasehold land in the region.[2] After further drilling investigation WMC relocated the mining operation to the east of the original mine, closer to the power station site and providing access to a larger coal reserve of 50 million tons. The total thickness of the coal seams is about 140 metres, with total economic mineable reserves estimated at 70 million tons in the upper seam, and a further 90 million tons in lower seams. In 1992 the overburden to coal ratio averaged around 2.5 to 1, with an average coal thickness of 27 metres.[2]

Following negotiation with the Victorian government, Alcoa took up a 50 year extension of the Agreement under the Mines (Aluminium Agreement) Act 1961, allowing for continued operation of the mine and power station until 2016. Alcoa has outlined plans to expand the footprint of the mine by approximately 50 percent, taking the total disturbed area from approximately 400 to approximately 600 hectares, from about 2016.[citation needed]

As of 2005 approximately 35 million tonnes of coal had been mined, with about 1.1 million tonnes of brown coal mined annually to feed a boiler that consumes 144 tonnes of pulverised brown coal an hour. The coal at Anglesea has a high quality heat value when compared to other brown coals used to produce electricity in Victoria, but has a much higher level of sulphur of around 3%, resulting in high levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions.[3] Carbon Monitoring for Action estimates this power station emits 1.21 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year as a result of burning coal.[4] Anglesea draws its cooling water from six sub-artesian well bores, supplemented with rainwater.

References[edit]

  1. ^ R. Arklay and I. Sayer - 'Geelong's Electric Supply' - September 1970
  2. ^ a b Jack Vines (2008). "Anglesea Brown Coal Mine". Coal Mining Heritage Study. www.heritage.vic.gov.au. p. Page 45. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  3. ^ "Victoria - Sulphur dioxide reduction at AWAC". www.aluminalimited.com. Archived from the original on 14 February 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "Anglesea". Carbon Monitoring for Action. Retrieved 23 November 2008. 

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