Shut down ready for power plant
THE long-scheduled shut down of the final coal-fired Swanbank power plant is set to occur early next week.
Plant operators Stanwell are planning to turn off the Swanbank B power station next Tuesday.
The planned closure of Swanbank B was announced in 2010 by previous plant operators CS Energy, before it was taken over by Stanwell.
Stanwell's gas-fired Swanbank E power station will continue to operate.
A Stanwell spokeswoman said many of the station's employees had been previously offered voluntary redundancy packages or transferred to other company operations.
The spokeswoman said the station's shutdown was dependant on plant performance and remained subject to change.
"As Queensland has a secure supply of generation now and well into the future, Stanwell has continued with CS Energy's plan of closing Swanbank's last operational coal-fired unit," she said.
"The Swanbank Power Station site still maintains an important role in Stanwell's generation portfolio with the highly efficient 385 MW gas-fired unit expected to continue powering south-east Queensland for decades to come.
"With the advent of a carbon tax, old lower efficiency coal-fired power stations, such as Swanbank B, are unlikely to be commercially viable.
"Future power supply to meet increasing power demand will most likely come from the construction of new higher efficiency gas-fired power stations and renewable power plants.
CFMEU district secretary Jim Valery said the closure of the plant meant a loss of opportunity for Ipswich.
"It represents a reasonable significant reduction of jobs in the Ipswich region," he said.
"At its peak it employed a few hundred people."
Mr Valery said he believed many of the workers had moved to different government-owned companies including other power generators and the Swanbank gas power plant.
Swanbank B saw the delivery of its final load of coal earlier this month.
Three of the four generating units at Swanbank B have already been shut down.
The final unit is being retired with the plant reaching the end of its operational life.
Swanbank B is the last coal power plant at Swanbank.
The Swanbank A station was decommissioned in 2005, with the smoke stacks collapsed in 2006.
The coal-fired Swanbank B plant was commissioned in 1971.
At its peak the plant ran four 120-megawatt steam turbines.
Almost 21 million tonnes of coal were delivered to the Swanbank A and B power stations since 1966.