Stanwell Power Station within compliance limits as National Pollutant Inventory data is released

31 March 2020

During 2018/19, Stanwell Corporation invested more than $50.0 million at Stanwell Power Station to ensure it operates efficiently and meets its environmental compliance obligations. The station is one of Australia’s most emissions efficient coal-fired power stations.

Stanwell Power Station’s emissions levels, as outlined in 2018/19 National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) data, reflect the fact that it is one of Australia’s largest coal-fired power stations. Stanwell Power Station operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet Queensland’s energy demand, and in 2018/19 generated more than 7,800 GWh of electricity.

Electricity generated by Stanwell Power Station decreased by 3.2 per cent between 2017/18 and 2018/19. Particulate matter (PM2.5), sulphur oxide (SOx) and nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions all decreased in line with generation, with further improvements also being achieved through improved combustion performance and coal quality.

During 2018/19 the power station, which is located 22 kilometres west of Rockhampton, complied with all relevant emissions legislation and standards.

Stanwell Power Station Site Manager, Angie Zahra, said the power station had proactively undertaken environmental monitoring on site and in surrounding areas.

“Our goal is to safeguard the wellbeing of the environment and neighbouring communities. We use electrostatic precipitators to capture particulates and conduct comprehensive air quality, surface water and groundwater monitoring to ensure we minimise our impact on the surrounding environment and community,” Ms Zahra said.

Stanwell Power Station measures and reports particulate emissions, using real time data that is collected by a continuous emissions monitoring system. Continuous emissions monitoring systems are considered to be the industry standard for accurate and reliable particulate emissions monitoring and reporting. The information collected is incorporated into the control system which automatically makes operational adjustments to manage our emissions.

Stanwell also monitors dust generated from other sources across our operations and this includes any dust generated from the ash storage area. During the 2018/19 reporting period, particulate matter emissions (PM10) increased marginally. This was caused by an increase in the surface area of our ash storage area, the relatively dry ambient conditions and an increase in the number of days during the year when there were high wind speeds.

“To improve our ability to monitor and manage the dust risks associated with site operations, Stanwell Power Station commissioned a new mobile ambient air quality monitor in August,” Ms Zahra said.

“The information provided by the monitor is used to adjust operational activities in the event that high dust levels are reported.

Stanwell has also undertaken extensive work on optimising combustion on Stanwell Power Station boilers, to control emissions. Low NOx burners have been installed on all four of the generating units at Stanwell Power Station, reducing the formation of NOx during the coal combustion process.

Stanwell is exploring opportunities to evolve and renew its portfolio to include low emission generation. This includes investigating co-firing of biomass at its coal-fired power stations to reduce emissions intensity and a feasibility study for a hydrogen demonstration plant.

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