The never-ending story? More delays in return-to-service at both Callide C3 and C4

Worth a quick note today to highlight yet more delays in return-to-service (RTS) expectations at the damaged units at Callide C Power Station.

Referring quickly to the MT PASA DUID Availability widget inside of ez2view, here’s a quick look …


(A)  Callide C3 (pushed back another quarter)

You’ll recall that Callide C3 came offline on 31st October 2022 as a result of a partial failure at the unit’s cooling tower.

Our most recent update had been on 24th January 2023, when the RTS expectation was set at 30th June 2023…. but we see below that this has now extended out for another quarter, with:

1)  Partial availability from 30th September 2023

2)  Full unit availability not until 31st December 2023.



(B)  Callide C4 (pushed back another 6 months)

You’ll recall that Callide C4 came offline on 25th May 2021 as a result of a catastrophic explosion (~2 months shy of 2 years ago today), the detailed cause still to be reported on.

1)  Here on this site we’ve posted many articles about the ‘Callide C4 Catastrophe’ – both the immediate aftermath and the long recovery period.

2)  Looks like a number more articles to write!

Our most recent update was 10th February 2023, when the RTS expectation was set at 1st May 2023 … but this has now been pushed back to 31st October 2023 (a 6 month additional delay):


I’ve not checked detailed stats since the start of the NEM, but believe this would make it the longest outage in the history of the NEM (i.e. 2 years and 5 months from initial unit trip).  This might be longer even than when some Tarong units were mothballed for a period of time during the oversupplied years.


(C)  No more news, yet, from the operators (CS Energy and Intergen)?

There’s no news announcement yet on the CS Energy website (as at 11:00 NEM time Wed 8th March*).  With the company now in the search for a new CEO, clearly these troubled units will need to be a core focus for whomever next sits in the hot seat.


*   PS1 on 9th March 2023

Later on in the day (Wednesday 8th March), CS Energy posted the news update ‘Updated return to service dates for Callide C Generating Units’.  Those interested can read the whole Media Release there, but the key sentence (in terms of reason for the extension) seems to be:

‘This morning the market was advised of new return to service dates for the two Callide C units. The change in return to service dates reflects CS Energy’s support for rebuilding both cooling towers. CS Energy’s position is based on a scope of work incorporating both cooling towers and tenders CS Energy has received from contractors. We are currently working this through with our JV partner.

This was noted below by Alex Cowie in comment on this article 19:39 Wednesday evening, and also noted by Mark Ludlow in the AFR in his article ‘Prices jump after return of Callide C power station delayed again’ first published 17:36 Wednesday evening.


I’ve also not seen news from the other JV partner (currently Genuity … though this might be changing soon?**)


**   PS2 on 9th March 2023

The same CS Energy media release names Genuity (the rebranded InterGen Australia) as the JV owner – however another readers has pointed out some potential developments with respect to the JV partner.

It may be that soon:
1)   Czech company, Sev.en (which owns part of Genuity), will soon own the the other half of Callide C (i.e. separate from Genuity); whilst
2)  A demerged Genuity (i.e. without the Sev.en shareholding) would remain the owner of Millmerran.

On this page on the Sev.en Website as at 9th March 2023 it currently says:

‘In June 2019, 7GI acquired a 50% interest in InterGen N.V., one of the leading independent power producers headquartered in UK with a total installed capacity of 4.5 GWe and 300 employees worldwide and 25 years of history.

InterGen owns and operates 4 gas-fired power plants in the UK (both combined and open-cycle) and owns interest in 2 modern coal-fired power stations in Australia.

In the UK, InterGen develops 2 large-scale battery storage projects, both connected to and benefitting from IG’s gas-fired infrastructure.

In Australia, InterGen actively participates in carbon capture, utilisation and storage project at its Millmerran power station, a pilot development paving the way for further investments in this area.

InterGen UK assets are currently subject to a sale process which is expected to close in Q1 2023. Restructuring of the Australian assets is being considered, in which Sev.en Global Investments would retain the Callide C power plant and integrate it under its other Australian assets whereas the Millmerran power plant would remain with the other shareholder of OzGen (UK) Ltd.’

… noting we are not yet at the end of Q1 2023.


(D)  Coal unavailability stats for 2023

On Monday this week I referenced GenInsights Quarterly Update for Q4 2022 in noting that aggregate unavailability of 44 remaining coal units in the NEM reached the concerning level of  24% on an annualised basis for calendar 2022.

It won’t be till the end of 2023 that we can calculate the stats for calendar 2023, naturally, but having these two large-size units out for the majority of the year is clearly not going to help the stats for calendar 2023 either.

About the Author

Paul McArdle
One of three founders of Global-Roam back in 2000, Paul has been CEO of the company since that time. As an author on WattClarity, Paul's focus has been to help make the electricity market more understandable.

1 Comment on "The never-ending story? More delays in return-to-service at both Callide C3 and C4"

  1. Announcement now on CS Energy website of the delays in return to service due to rebuilding of both C3 and C4 cooling towers.

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