Hundreds of thousands lost power due to the outage yesterday bringing systems across the state to a grinding halt, what’s been called a “catastrophic event” by the plant’s CEO.
The incident is believed to have been caused after a fire erupted in one of the station’s four turbines leading to an explosion, Energy Minister Mick de Brenni told Today.
Mr de Brenni described the incident as “unprecedented”, reassuring Queenslanders their power will stay on going forward.
“We don’t expect that there’s going to be another incident like that,” he said.
“I want to reassure all Queenslanders that the system is safe.
“It is operational. And we will continue to make sure that they get cheap, reliable power.
“The guarantee that we can give to all electricity consumers, householders and businesses in Queensland, is that they can rely on their power, the lights being on today.”
The reassurance comes as CS Energy CEO Andrew Bills said it would take “some time to understand the cause of the failure” and that the turbine had experienced “major damage” in the incident.
“It is too early to confidently provide a date for when the turbine would be fully operational again,” Mr Bills said.
“It will take some time to understand the cause of the failure and the steps that will need to be taken to repair the unit.”
The Callide power plant is one of the state’s youngest electricity generators, built in 2001.
Energy provider Energex confirmed the “widespread outage”, which began about 2.30pm yesterday, was affecting customers “from the Gold Coast to Caboolture”.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said 400,000 people initially lost power with traffic lights and airport systems also impacted.
Power has since been restored however the impacted turbine remains out of action.
No members of staff at the power plant were injured during the explosion and investigations into exactly how the fire began are ongoing.
“The good news is that early indications suggest that it appears the other three turbines are undamaged … we are hopeful that we will be able to get it operational as soon as possible,” Mr de Brenni said.