Co-owners of troubled plant in voluntary administration

Cassandra Morgan |

Plans to bring central Queensland’s troubled Callide C coal-fired power station back online are slated to go ahead despite its co-owners sliding into voluntary administration. 

The power station near Biloela has been plagued with issues, having catastrophically failed after an explosion in its turbine hall in May 2021.

The resulting outage hit more than 470,000 homes and businesses between the NSW border and Cape York.

Part of a cooling tower collapsed at the power station in October last year, 16 months after the explosion.

Both its C3 and C4 generating units remain offline after the incidents.

Deloitte turnaround and restructuring partners Grant Sparks and Richard Hughes were on Friday announced as voluntary administrators over four IG Energy Group entities: IG Power, IG Energy Holdings, IG Power Holdings and IG Power Marketing.

IG Energy trades as Genuity, and was formerly known as InterGen.

The companies have a 50 per cent stake in Callide C in a joint venture with state-owned CS Energy, which operates the power station.

Administrators were appointed because shareholders disagreed about the venture’s future funding, Deloitte said.

However, Mr Hughes suggested there would be minimal disruption to restoring the power station, after CS Energy announced a staged return to unit C3 from September 30 and to unit C4 from October 31 this year.

“At this early stage in the external administration process, we have been communicating with all stakeholders to assure them we will be pursuing a restructuring solution that would ensure minimal disruption to any plans to bring the Callide C Power Station, which remains under CS Energy’s operational control, back online later this year,” Mr Hughes said. 

CS Energy said in a statement it was advised administrators were appointed to a number of Genuity Group entities.

It remained “business as usual” for CS Energy staff at Callide C, the company said.

“We remain committed to the safe and timely reinstatement of the Callide C Power Station units 3 and 4, and are working through our options to achieve this,” CS Energy said.

CS Energy owns the entirety of Callide B, which is the second power plant comprising the Callide Power Station.