South Hedland power station achieves major construction milestone

The first of many major pieces of equipment arrived on the South Hedland site marking a construction milestone for the power station. The open cycle gas turbine was the first to arrive on site early in November, and it will be followed by two combined cycle gas turbines that are currently in transit and will arrive later this month.

“The arrival of the open cycle-gas turbine and generator marks a transition in the South Hedland construction from the earthworks and foundation preparation phase to the mechanical and electrical installation phase of construction,” says Aron Willis, managing director, Australia. “This milestone signifies our commitment to be bringing this power station online on time to supply reliable power to our customers.”

To celebrate the milestone on November 17, representatives from TransAlta gathered with our customers, Horizon Power and Fortescue Metals Group; the Hon. Mark Lewis, MLC member for the mining and pastoral region; representatives from the Town of Port Hedland; and our construction partners, IHI Engineering Australia and Jacobs Engineering; to view the first turbine on site and see the power station construction progress.

“From the State’s perspective, it is a great outcome to be able to do business with credible partners like TransAlta and Fortescue Metals Group, and deliver an off-balance-sheet project which will power the Pilbara into the future with the cleanest energy available,” said Ted Brereton, general manager, Major Developments at Horizon Power.

Lots of work has been completed since construction began in February 2015, including the land foundation preparation to host the power station equipment and installation of the underground services. With this work completed, the site is now ready for the major equipment installations to begin.

The power station’s second and third combined-cycle gas turbines are expected to arrive on site in the second half of November, followed by the air cooled condenser modules in December. The open-cycle gas turbine is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2016, beginning the power station’s first delivery of power from South Hedland to our customers. All gas turbines at South Hedland are LM6000s, one of General Electric (GE)’s most efficient gas turbines. With this technology, the 150MW power station will be one of the most efficient in the region when fully commissioned in 2017.

The South Hedland site has been busy since construction began in February 2015, including achieving a construction milestone with the first gas turbine arrival on site in early November. The 150 megawatt (MW) power station will begin generating power in 2017 and will help meet the future energy needs of the region through a 25-year agreement with both Horizon Power and Fortescue Metals Group. The following is an interview with the South Hedland project manager, Jamie Hodel, on the power plant construction progress.

Since construction began in February this year, what work has been completed on site?

Extensive work has been done to…

Click to read the entire Q&A.