BRISBANE, Australia – An explosion at a central Queensland power station resulted in nearly half a million people without power and the findings into the incident have revealed that it could not have been anticipated, according to a report released by state-owned operator CS Energy.
The report stated that failing electrical equipment and system backups were the cause of the incident at the Callide Power Station’s C4 unit. CS Energy’s chief executive, Darren Busine, mentioned that the original design of the power station, although tested and compliant with connection standards, could have been more robust.
The incident, described as an “extraordinary chain of events,” was not a result of a lack of maintenance, according to Busine. It was further explained that a new direct current (DC) system with a battery charger had been commissioned and connected to the C4 unit, causing an unexpected voltage drop and subsequently a trip in the alternating current (AC) system, leading to an unstoppable sequence of events and ultimately the explosion.
After the incident, CS Energy has implemented several design changes to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future and plans to equip the C4 unit with additional switchboards, batteries, and battery chargers before it returns to service by the end of July.
The company also made changes at other plants and has hired more operators, a safety team, and an engineering team to focus on standards and quality assurance. Additionally, a report from forensic engineer Sean Brady is expected to be released in the coming months, providing further insights into the incident.