A $60 million project at AGL Loy Yang is midway through its 55-day schedule, delivering substantial economic benefits to the Latrobe Valley.

On Friday, AGL Group General Manager Merchant Energy, Anthony Fowler, inspected the significant charter of engineering and maintenance works which have been underway on the Unit Four generating unit since it was desynchronised from the electricity grid on 29 August 2014.

The project involves approximately 930 personnel overall, including 800 AGL Loy Yang and contractor employees working an estimated 300,000 labour hours on site.

“While this outage is critical to ensuring the safe and reliable operation of Unit Four until the next scheduled major outage in 2019, it also marks the completion of a seven year project which has seen the conversion of all AGL Loy Yang’s units from an ageing analogue system to a state of the art digital control system,” said Mr Fowler.

“AGL’s commitment to investing in this conversion has been vital to ensuring energy security and reliability of supply to Victoria,” he said.

AGL Loy Yang is a 2,210 megawatt power station, with its four generating units supplying approximately 30 percent of Victoria's power requirements.

Three of AGL Loy Yang’s units have already converted to the new control system achieving subsequent improvements in reliability and performance.

“As an example of the benefits of this project, since Unit Two converted it has recorded the longest continuous run for any Loy Yang unit since being built,” Mr Fowler said. “This translates to more reliable baseload electricity for Victorians.”

Mr Fowler said the Unit Four major outage was expected to provide an economic injection to the local economy worth up to $25 million by its scheduled completion in late October.

AGL Loy Yang Head of Generation, John Stewart, said the strategy announced in 2012 to award five year contracts for power station outages was also delivering multiple benefits, including improved plant performance and cost and time reductions with each subsequent outage.

Mr Stewart said AGL Loy Yang worked closely with key outage partners Lend Lease, Siemens and Yokogawa during outages as well as numerous other second tier contractors.

“The Unit Four major outage is the third of five major outages scheduled for AGL Loy Yang’s generating units across a five year period, from 2012 until 2017, with a total expenditure of more than $160 million,” said Mr Stewart.

Aside from the digital conversion project other major works on Unit Four include:

  • The installation of structural support for the boiler gas outlet duct.
  • Inspection of the generation rotor.
  • Inspection of the low pressure turbine rotors.
  • Replacement of the circuit breaker.

Mr Fowler said safety was a critical component of power station and mine outages at Loy Yang.

“A safety awareness scheme (SAS) is again being conducted, with AGL Loy Yang and key contractors donating a total of $45,000 to community groups if safety standards are met.”

Organisations set to benefit from safe working behaviour during this outage are the Morwell State Emergency Service, Gippsland Lifeline, the Latrobe Regional Hospital Chemotherapy Ward and Cancer Care Centre and Statewide Autistic Services.

About AGL

AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated energy companies and largest ASX listed owner, operator and developer of renewable energy generation in the country. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro,wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers.