As we close out the end of 2023 and look forward into 2024, it’s worth highlighting that there’s been no further slippage (since the updates of 5th December 2023) and so we’re now counting down the days till the expected return to service of the Callide C3 on Wednesday 24th January 2024.
Incidentally we see that the Tarong North unit (which tripped during yesterday’s hot afternoon) is back online today, and there’s no outage planned in the next 2 weeks.
(A) Outage duration
In this table I’ve summarised the key stats for both of the units – each of which has received its own focused category of articles on this WattClarity site:
Why is the unit offline?
(and current expectations of outage end)
… duration offline (if expectations hold)
This unit has been offline since 25th May 2021, following a massive explosion that led to temporary under-frequency load shedding across a sizeable percentage of the QLD grid.
We’ve been progressively accumulating articles about this under the category ‘Callide C4 catastrophe’.
Offline = 25th May 2021.
Expected RTS = 19th May 2024 (at part load, with full RTS by 7th July 2024).
Given the return to service of this unit was delayed to allow the organisation to focus firstly on the cooling tower repairs, it might be there is still some movement to come on this one?
… which would be 1,090 days offline (just under 3 years … which I’ve wondered before might be the longest outage in the history of the NEM?)
Readers might also recall Callide C3 came offline on 31st October 2022 due to cooling tower failure … which would have affected C4 as well, though it was already offline.
Offline = 31st October 2022.
Expected RTS = Wed 24th Jan 2024 (at part load, with full RTS by 18th February 2024).
Given this is only a couple weeks away now, I’d expect this date is reasonably certain.
… which would be 450 days offline.
Like many others, we’ll watch with interest to see what might actually happen, in terms of successful return to service of both units through 2024.
(B) Recent media articles
Catching up on recent news updates over the past week or so, I noted two useful articles in the Australian by Nick Evans as follows:
Firstly on Sunday 24th December 2023, Nick wrote ‘Czech company asks court to appoint special administrators to investigate plant explosions’ here:
… or perhaps it was Friday 22nd December, as seen on the image above?
In particular in this article, Nick wrote that:
‘But, more than two and a half years on from the explosion at the coal-fired plant, an expert review of the incident – commissioned by CS Energy, and being conducted by forensic engineer Sean Brady – has still not been delivered, and Sev.en has headed to the Federal Court to demand answers, and potentially prepare the way for a damages claim against CS Energy and the Queensland government.’
There’s other useful background in Nick’s first article as well (well worth a read, for subscribers). Then on Tuesday 26th December 2023, Nick followed on with ‘Callide coal catastrophe delays demand an explanation’ here:
In this article, Nick wrote:
‘Their fear is that CS Energy could buy the other half of Callide C on the cheap, and that the sale conditions could come with a release preventing private investors in the power station from pursuing legal action against the operator if the explosion was caused by negligence or maladministration.’
… and …
‘Did the operators skimp on maintenance works, or cut corners elsewhere to keep the cash flowing?
Or were the twin catastrophes at Callide simply a matter of bad luck?
At the heart of the matter is whether Queensland’s state-owned enterprises have been a competent and effective steward of the state’s power generation assets.
We will not know the answer to that until Dr Brady reports, or until another external investigation is conducted.’
I did not see anyone else cover this?
(C) At the Federal Court?
Seeking to understand more about this new development, I jumped through to the website for the Federal Court of Australia …
(C1) What’s the court process Nick Evans references?
In a quick search (and not really knowing what I’m searching for, or how to search usefully) could see anything that jumped out at me in this respect – there were these two (i.e. QUD155/2023 and QUD541/2023) , but they seem not the same:
(C2) CALLIDE ENERGY PTY LTD ACN 082 468 746 v AIG AUSTRALIA LIMITED ACN 004 727 753 & ORS
Additionally, (noting that it does not seem the same as the above, though would seem to be related to the same incident) I did find filing number QUD572/2023 filed on 15th December 2023 as follows:
… but this does not list Sev.en as the Applicant … in this case it’s Callide Energy Pty Ltd (ACN 082 468 746), which I believe is a wholly owned subsidiary of CS Energy.
I’d be interested if readers could point us at more information, if it is there, please?
(D) Any updates from stakeholders?
As I hit ‘publish’ on this article (17:10 on Sat 30th Dec 2023) I have not seen any recent relevant updates from various stakeholders.
(D1) At CS Energy
I could not see anything on the news section of the CS Energy website.
Nor did I see any updates here on the company profile LinkedIn (I’d noticed that the company sometimes provided updates there and the most recent seems to be this one showing time-lapse images of what’s happened to the end of November 2023).
(D2) At Sev.en Global Investments
(D3) At Genuity
I also did not see anything on the Genuity website.
PS1 – back at the Federal Court (Sun 31st Dec 2023)
It’s been pointed out to me that QUD541/2023 is indeed the case that I am looking for:
… so it looks like there are some dates there in early Jan 2024 when things are due.