Mica Creek Power Station: The end of an era

28 December 2020

For sixty years, Mica Creek Power Station has been a feature in the Mount Isa community. Not just as a prominent fixture on the horizon, but it has played an important role keeping the lights on, industry running and providing a place of work for over the past 60 years for thousands of people. We think it’s safe to say, everyone in Mount Isa knows someone who works or has worked at Mica Creek.

Prior to the power station being built, the land was originally planned to house the first nuclear power station in Australia. Obviously, this didn’t go ahead, and Mica Creek Power Station was later born.

The site was first commissioned in May 1960, with 12 subsequent units commissioned. At that stage, without automation, it was a labour-intensive site with about 200 people running it.

While Mica Creek was instrumental in powering the North West Minerals Province, the site was more than just a power station. It was paramount in keeping the mining of critical Australian commodities like copper and lead powered, supporting global commodity markets. 

Originally coal-fired, the station underwent an extensive project to convert it to natural gas firing from 1998 to 2000 – a project which resulted in an impressive 43 per cent reduction in Mica Creek’s emissions.

Stanwell proudly took over Mica Creek Power Station from CS Energy in 2011, as part of the Queensland Government’s restructuring of energy assets. 

Until Diamantina Power Station opened in 2014, Mica Creek was the sole major power station for the North West Minerals Province, powering the Mount Isa community and the mining sector.

Despite many hurdles throughout the years, our people have always remained focused on delivering a safe and reliable supply of energy to our customers.

Thank you to our people who have worked tirelessly to ensure the increasingly safe and reliable operations at Mica Creek, despite so much uncertainty in recent years, they have delivered exceptional results for our customers and community.

Thank you to the Mica Creek community for embracing our power station, recognising the important role it had to play and for providing a welcoming home for our people.

Stanwell’s ability to operate, is dependent on the support of the communities we operate in – so thank you to Mount Isa for providing that support over the past 60 years.

Image – Mica Creek Power Station 1972