Muja Power Station
|Muja Power Station|
|Location||Collie, Western Australia|
|Commission date||21 April 1966|
|Decommission date||September 2018 (planned)|
|Thermal power station|
|Nameplate capacity||1094 MW|
Muja Power Station is a power station 22 km (14 mi) east of Collie, Western Australia. It has eight steam turbines served by coal-fired boilers that together generate a total capacity of 854 megawatts of electricity. The coal is mined in the nearby Collie Sub-basin.
The station was first commissioned on 21 April 1966. Currently four of the eight turbines are running (units 5 through to 8). Muja has four 60 megawatts units (stages A and B), two 200 megawatts units (stage C) and two 227 megawatts units (stage D). The four smallest and least efficient units, stages A and B, were closed in April 2007. In June 2008 it was announced that these older generator units would be recommissioned, due to a statewide natural gas shortage.
According to the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI), Muja Power Station is one of the biggest emitters of air pollution in Australia, including high emissions of beryllium, fluoride and particulate matter. Carbon Monitoring for Action estimates that, in 2009, Muja Power Station emitted 5.75 million tonnes (12.7 billion pounds) of CO2 to generate 5.05 terawatt-hours (18.2 petajoules) of electricity.
In household consumer terms, this equates to 1.14 kilograms (2.5 lb) of CO2 emitted for each one kilowatt-hour (kWh), or 3.6 megajoules, of electricity produced and fed into the electricity grid. That is, Muja Power Station emits slightly more CO2 per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced than nearby Collie Power Station (1.13 kilograms or 2.5 pounds) and much more than Bluewaters Power Station (0.825 kilograms or 1.82 pounds) based on estimates for the same year.
In 2012 during the attempted recommissioning of stages A and B, an explosion occurred in unit 3 at the refurbished A B area due to corroded piping. A man was burnt, though the station continued to operate (stage C, D) during the incident. An Australian Manufacturing Workers Union officer state secretary Steve McCartney had hailed the lack of casualties as “a miracle”.
A & B Unit Mothballing
On 25 June 2013, after spending $250 million (AUD) on the planned recommissioning of units A and B, Premier Colin Barnett announced work had been postponed indefinitely, citing that these older generators are "mothballed".
The Premier Colin Barnett has told Parliament no further work will be done on the generators for the time being, "The government has made a decision with respect to Muja A and B units; three and four continue to operate, units one and two are basically mothballed," he said.
In the following months the work was completed quietly and as of 2014 the Muja A and B units are used intermittently, primarily during summer peak times.
On 4 June 2017 the Labor government's energy minister Ben Wyatt again "confirmed the 52-year-old power station in Collie will be shut in September next year amid moves to retire more than 400 megawatts of generating capacity owned by Synergy." However, the 2018/19 state budget presented by Ben Wyatt for Western Australia in May 2018 allocates $48.1 million to work at Muja Stages C and D. This work includes "$6 million on the refurbishment of the Stage C Turbine and replacement of associated components" and "$4.2 million on an upgrade to electrical switchboards for Stages C and D."
- "WA gas crisis poses threat to economy". The Australian. www.theaustralian.news.com.au. 12 June 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
- "Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) Database v3.0". Center for Global Development. July 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
- "Muja Power Station Explosion". The West. The West. June 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- "Government suspends work on Muja power station". ABC. ABC. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- "Call for inquiry into Muja Power Station Fiasco". ABC. ABC. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- "Taxpayers foot huge bill for botched Muja". Perthnow. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- Ben Wyatt (10 May 2018). "Western Australia State Budget 2018-19 (Part 12)" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
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