News update in the AFR about Callide C

Given that we’ve invested some time in cataloguing what’s public about the 3-year history of Callide C4 Catastrophe (and also covered the Callide C3 cooling tower issue, which seems now resolved) here’s a quick note about the article by Anthony Macdonald ‘Queensland in secret bid to buy stricken coal-fired power plant’ (as Chanticleer) in the AFR late on Wednesday 15th May:


Leaving aside that I’m pretty sure I’ve read before about the bid by CS Energy to buy out the half of Callide C that they don’t own (so I’m not sure what is ‘secret’ about it), the article is well worth a read.

It covers a couple aspects of the following:


(A)  The root cause of the original failure

The article has some updates on the schedule for finalisation of ‘the Brady Report’, which we look forward to being able to release … albeit that others have recently reported about some emerging doubt over whether it will ever be publicly released.

In the AFR Anthony writes:

‘…  That report is greatly anticipated; Queensland Premier Steven Miles, under pressure to keep electricity generators online and prices down, last week said he was yet to see it and was “frustrated in the delay”.’


‘More information on Brady’s report – if not the report itself – is due to be released in the coming week, although those involved have heard such promises in the past.’


(B)  The Administration (by Deloitte), and possible sale/recapitalisation

There’s also some interesting additional context of the process currently underway with the Administrators (being Deloitte) … and the action taken in the Federal Court (docket number QUD541/2023) by Sev.En (who is part-owner of IG Power, the 50% owner of Callide C).


(C)  Operational Data

In the AFR article there’s not much in the way of operational data, but we can quickly reference ez2view to provide these additional details:

… for  Callide C3

Remember that Callide C3 began returning to service on Monday 1st April 2024, after an outage lasting 518 days following the collapse of the cooling tower (which also delayed the return to service of Callide C4).

This unit’s now running at over 400MW, as expected.

… for  Callide C4

The sibling unit (Callide C4) is still offline, but now closing in on the anticipated start of the return-to-service process (beginning Sunday 30th June 2024 … which is now only 45 days away).   This is shown here in the ‘Generator Outages’ widget from ez2view at the 09:05 dispatch interval this morning:


In this image I’ve highlighted both:

1)  The final days of the long Forced Outage process for Callide C4; but also

2)  Given it’s on the screen, I’ve highlighted that the (expected) imminent return to service for Eraring unit 2 (one of the units offline and hence contributing to the extreme volatility triggering Administered Pricing in NSW starting Wednesday 8th May 2024).

If the Callide C4 reaches its return to service milestone, that will make it an outage length of 1,132 days … which I have previously speculated might be ‘longest outage in the history of the NEM’, but have not yet had time to confirm.

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.

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