Double the celebration: Two of our Tarong Power Station employees each mark 40 years’ service

16 March 2021

This year marks an incredible milestone for two of Stanwell’s Senior Technicians, David Krogh and Dave Richardson, celebrating 40 years’ service at the Tarong power stations. 

We caught up with them to learn more about how they landed in the energy industry, what they’ve learnt in their 40 years, and what this milestone means to them. 

Senior Technician, Dave Richardson, with Optimisation Lead, Rob Woodall.

Dave Richardson – Senior Technician – Tarong power stations
Dave’s career in the energy industry began in February 1981. The fresh-faced Kingaroy State High School graduate was to be the first Electrical Apprentice employed onsite with the Queensland Electricity Generating Board (now Stanwell Corporation). From Electrical Apprentice, to Senior Technician, Dave has held numerous roles throughout his time in the industry including, Electrical Fitter, Construction Inspector, Project Manager and Production Coordinator (only to name a few!). 

Dave said today his role at Stanwell as a Senior Technician is multifaceted.

“My typical day involves reviewing plant defects and assisting trades people and technicians with maintenance of the coal handling and fuel plants. This requires me to review maintenance procedures and scheduled tasks so we’re operating in a cost effective and optimised manner that ensures high plant reliability is achieved.”

In the past 40 years, Dave said he’s seen firsthand how rapidly things change and improve in the industry. 

“There have been many changes over the last 40 years. Originally, all the control systems for ancillary plants, were all performed by individual programmable controllers. In addition to this, each plant was monitored twenty-four-seven by a plant operator.” 

Dave said the biggest changes, have however, been in safety.

“When I first started, personal protective equipment (PPE) consisted of a pair of stubbies shorts, a t-shirt, hardhat and a pair of steel capped boots. Thankfully, this has changed drastically, and we have proceeded on the path of ZERO Harm and everyone shares the same expectation that we go home in the same or better condition than we arrived each day.”

With a solid career under his belt, Dave believes a key learning to performing well is building good relationships with colleagues.

“This can help open opportunities for future advancement,” he said.

But what is he most proud of when it comes to his time in the industry?

“I am proud of the fact that I have worked in so many different roles and worked on all areas of plant. It’s a good feeling to be able to say that you’ve helped others starting out in the industry to achieve their goals and witness their advancement.

Senior Technician, David Krogh, with Optimisation Lead, Rob Woodall.

David Krogh – Senior Technician – Tarong power stations
David started his career in the energy industry as an apprentice Electrical Fitter at Swanbank Power Station in January 1981. Shortly before making the move to Tarong Power Station to take up a technician position. 

David’s days are spent differently to those of the once new apprentice. We asked him what a typical day looks like for him, 40 years on. 

“I spend most of my time at my desk writing switching isolation certificates that are used to isolate electrical plant onsite. The rest of my time is spent as a technical resource, assisting other team members,” he said. 

Since 1981, David said he has witnessed many industry changes and advancements. We asked him what some of the biggest have been during his time. 

“Over time we’ve changed how we work. From Tarong being owned and operated by different corporations, changes in the electricity market and working to different budgets. This brings challenges, like any role has, but we work together to keep the lights on.

“I also have fond memories of our former social club at Tarong, I was President for many years. We often had 140 people attending our yearly weekend camping trips. The local scouts would cater all weekend – all you had to do was bring your tent, sit back and relax.” 

David attributes his longevity in the industry to some specific key learnings.

“When it comes to performing well, it is important to always ask questions and take advice when it is given. I have been lucky enough to work with many highly experienced people who I have learnt so much from.”    

But what is David most proud of when he comes to reflect on his career milestone?

“Getting things right the first time. I am proud of the fact that I can deliver on my expertise and knowledge when I am called on for my technician support.” 

We’d like to thank both Dave and David for the incredible work they have done so far and congratulate them on an incredible milestone! 

Dave and David celebrating 40 years’ service with their Tarong power stations workmates.