It weighs 2,100 tonnes, is over 10 storeys high and when fully extended won’t fit in the MCG. It’s a massive piece of machinery known as the TS4 stacker and it’s about to embark on a four week, 19 kilometre journey from the overburden site to the base of AGL’s Loy Yang mine in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.
AGL Loy Yang Head of Mining Nigel Browne said the moving of a stacker of this size over this distance and involving so many obstacles is an Australian first.
“The trip has involved five years of extensive planning and consultation with representatives from AGL Loy Yang and a number of local contractors and external stakeholders including Vic Roads, Emergency Management Australia and Basslink. We have developed a rigorous engineering and safety management plan.
“The TS4 stacker will relocate to the base of the mine to move excess materials like clay and soil known as overburden, back into areas of the mine where coal is no longer extracted.
“This will assist with natural stabilisation of the mined area, reduce noise and dust from the overburden site, reduce fire risk at the base of the mine and assist with progressive rehabilitation,” Mr Browne said.
The 19 kilometre journey will take nearly four weeks with the stacker moving eight metres a minute. It will begin its journey on 13 March and is expected to finish in mid April. To ensure a safe journey a significant amount of work has already taken place.
“A path has been cleared, power lines will be dropped and the highway will be covered with disused conveyor rubber belts to protect it. Despite its 2,100 tonnes, TS4’s footprint (weight per square metre) is less than that of a typical 4-wheel drive due to its width and weight distribution.
“Completing this move on schedule is critical as the Basslink crossing will only be permitted at a certain time to align with its planned outage,” explained Mr Browne.
The Hyland Highway will also be closed from Friday evening 17 March to Monday morning, 20 March 2017, prior to and after the crossing to ensure the road surface and structural integrity is maintained. Detours will be in place.
As part of AGL Loy Yang’s long-term mine plan its travelling stackers, known as TS4 and TS5, will both be relocated to the base of the mine.
AGL is one of Australia’s leading integrated energy companies. It is taking action to responsibly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while providing secure and affordable energy to its customers. Drawing on over 175 years of experience, AGL serves its customers throughout eastern Australia with meeting their energy requirements, including gas, electricity, solar PV and related products and services. 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, solar, landfill gas and biomass.