The Darling Downs power station, Australia’s largest combined-cycle power plant (CCPP), has been officially opened and will play an important role in helping the state of Queensland maintain a secure, efficient and reliable electricity supply, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The 630 MW CCPP is part of an investment of more than A$5bn (S5.1bn) in the Australian state’s energy infrastructure made by Origin Energy and Australia Pacific LNG over the past decade, and is powered by coal seam gas piped from the Australia Pacific LNG gas fields.
The construction of the power station also included a 205 km pipeline that stretches from the Wallumbilla gas hub near Roma to the Talinga gas production facility.
The pipeline will provide up to 44 petajoules of gas to the power station each year.
The power station not only provides electricity to 400 000 Queensland households but achieves this with a reduced water usage and lower carbon emissions.
Compared to an equivalent coal fired power plant, Darling Downs is said to utilize 97 per cent less water and produce half the amount of greenhouse gases.
In partnership with GE Energy, CH2M HILL, a global full-service consulting, design, construction and operations firm, served as the engineer, procurement, construction contractor for Origin Energy, a leading integrated energy company.
CH2M HILL performed the engineering, design and procurement of the ‘balance of plant’ equipment for the project, integrating with three GE-supplied Frame 9E gas turbine generators, a GE C7 steam turbine generator and three heat recovery steam generators.
Plant construction began in August 2007. During peak construction more than 950 people were working at the remote site located in the Australian bush west of Brisbane, with more than 2m hours worked without a lost time incident.
Over the course of the three year project nearly 2,000 health and safety meetings were held and more than 20 000 hours of training were provided.
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