Works to repair the damage in the Morwell River Diversion (MRD) near the Yallourn coal mine to secure Victoria’s energy supply have been agreed upon between the Victorian Government and EnergyAustralia.
During the June storm, significant flooding in the Morwell River resulted in cracks in the MRD that threatened to inundate the Yallourn Coal Mine. With Yallourn Power Station providing more than 20 per cent of Victoria’s energy supply, an emergency declaration was made to plan for the risk.
While short-term repair works have temporarily stabilised the situation, the MRD and the Yallourn Coal Mine remain at risk of a significant rainfall event. Failure of the MRD would see the Morwell River inundate the coal mine, which would in turn impact power production and downstream environments.
The Government has accepted EnergyAustralia’s proposal that will ensure necessary repairs not only secure Victoria’s energy supply but protect mine workers, the South Morwell community, water entitlement holders and the environment.
Based on technical assessments and safety considerations for the mineworkers, repair work will see EnergyAustralia divert normal winter flows from the Morwell River around the damaged MRD and into the Latrobe River. The diversion will dry the MRD, enabling engineers to undertake necessary repairs.
EnergyAustralia will be able to divert up to 3,500 megalitres per day to the Latrobe River. If the area receives heavy rain larger flood flows may be diverted into the Hazelwood Mine Void, upstream of Yallourn until flows return to normal.
In an emergency, the unused Township Field in the Yallourn Coal Mine can be used as a one-off storage for up to 3,000 megalitres.
Construction and repairs are estimated to take up to 18 months to complete. The Government will closely monitor this to ensure that the local Community, water entitlement holders and the environment are protected.
The Government continues to work closely with the Australian Energy Market Operator to ensure Victoria’s energy security.
As stated by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“This is the right approach that will protect Victoria’s electricity security, community safety, water entitlements and environmental impacts.”
As stated by Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes
“This agreement means these important long-term repairs to the MRD can keep going and allows us to maintain the structural integrity of the Yallourn Mine and surrounding areas.”
As stated by Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“This is a complex and urgent matter, which has required extensive works to maintain the mine and reliable energy supply.”