Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) will assess a works approval application it has received from IPM Operation & Maintenance Loy Yang Pty Ltd to upgrade Loy Yang B power station.
The proposal is for the company to retrofit new, higher efficiency turbine blades to each of the existing power generating units, which would increase power generation capacity by seven per cent.
The company has indicated that any increase in emissions would still be within the limits imposed by its existing EPA licence and that the proposal would see the intensity of emissions decrease.
EPA Development Assessments Manager, Tim Faragher said the company had sought EPA’s advice on whether a works approval was required under its existing licence conditions.
“While the proposed increase in emissions will not exceed the company’s existing limits, we consider these to be significant works and therefore a works approval is required,” Mr Faragher said.
“The new turbines will consume approximately four per cent more coal and any possible impacts on the Latrobe Valley community and the local environment need to be properly considered before a final decision is made,” he said.
Mr Faragher said the company had undertaken some initial consultation with the local community to ensure they were informed of the proposed turbine upgrade.
“The works approval process will enable the community to more formally have their say and draw to our attention any specific concerns they may have,” he said.
Further details about the works approval application are provided in the background section below.
The details of any advertising and the consultation process are currently being developed and will be publicised within the next fortnight.
EPA has been advised that the company will hold a community meeting at 6pm on Wednesday, 5 October, at the Traralgon Business Centre to provide further information about the proposal.
Works approvals are issued by EPA Victoria under the Environment Protection Act 1970. They are required for industrial and waste management activities that have the potential for significant environmental impact.
- The company had sought EPA’s advice on whether a works approval was required or if the proposal could be exempted under its existing conditions as an accredited licence holder.
- The proposed upgrade would require the burning of approximately 400,000 additional tonnes of coal per annum, resulting in a four per cent increase in carbon emissions.
- Should the upgrade be completed, overall greenhouse gas intensity will be reduced on a tonnes of CO2 per MWh basis.
- The additional carbon emissions produced by the upgraded power station will not exceed the company’s existing EPA licence limits.
- The proponent will have to provide actual data to EPA after commissioning the upgrade to show that the emissions produced match the modelled values.