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Fears for summer energy supply after Mortlake Power Station explosion

3AW Mornings

An explosion at Mortlake Power Station has halved the station’s power generation capacity.

Origin Energy, the station operator, has confirmed the CFA were called to the site following an electrical fault at around 6am on Monday.

The fault affects one of the gas-fired power station’s two generating units, and there are fears the unit could be offline for up to a year.

Gavin Dufty, manager for policy and research at the St Vincent de Paul Society, said there could be trouble if the broken generating unit isn’t fixed by summer.

“The concerning thing is a Mortlake unit being out, for how long we don’t know, in conjunction with Loy Yang, which is also out,” he told 3AW’s Tony Jones.

“If both those plants are out come summer time when the heat comes through, we might have a problem.”

“If you’ve got a heat wave through South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, there just isn’t enough [energy] to go around.”

Mortlake Power Station generates three per cent of Victoria’s electricity, and plays a particularly important role during heat waves.

CFA Commander Paul Marshall said the generator will likely be out of action for at least six months.

“It was a rather large explosion, it certainly wasn’t a minor explosion, so that will obviously take a while to rectify,” he said.

“There was significant damage to the generator.”

Press PLAY below to hear what Commander Paul Marshall said about the explosion.

Press PLAY below to hear what Paul Dufty had to say about the impact the explosion will have on energy security over summer.



3AW Mornings