Collie is WA’s coal centre and, appropriately, it is where we are going to be holding Climate Camp this December. The following is a little guide to Collie’s coal.
Collie is currently home to five Coal fired power stations, four coal mines and several proposed projects, including one aitional mine, four additional coal fired power stations an a coal to fertaliser plant. (See below for more details)
The Collie Coal industry currently produces 6.5 million tonnes of coal, emits 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and accounts for 13% of WA’s total greenhouse emissions (as of 2007).
While Climate Camp WA is opposed to the coal industry and especially those who make massive profits from fossil fuels, we are not opposed to, indeed we are committed to a viable, safe, future for all workers and communities currently supported by the coal industry. For more information, see our just transitions page. We will make every effort to act in solidarity and with respect for coal workers and affected communities.
There is potential for renewable to replace fossil fuels in WA. According to the conservation council of WA, an extra 1072MW of coal fired energy will create 200 direct jobs where as 1200MW of new renewables would create 430 direct clean energy jobs. Specifically in the Collie area, on October 15, the Collie Mail reported that Green Rocks, a West Perth company, has been granted exploration licenses to search for appropriate geothermal sites. Geothermal is just one example of how we can transition from dangerous fossil fuels to renewable technologies without adversely affecting workers or communities.
Ewington 1 & 2 are owned and operated by Griffin Coal
Ewington 2 is a new mine proposed by Griffin Coal. The mine will produce coal for private sector customers, including Griffin Energy Bluewaters Power Station and Perdaman Industries Urea Plant.
Muja is owned and operated by Griffin Coal. The mine supplies Muja power station and produces 1.5-1.8Mt of coal/year.
Griffin Coal is planning a proposed extension of Muja Mine, located 18 km south east of Collie. The Muja South Expansion is west of Griffin Coal’s Muja Mine. The mine is expected to produce 140 million tonnes of coal annually. The expansion also involves clearing more than 1,700 hectares of state forest, placing at risk the habitats of a number of endangered species.
The premiere mine is owned and operated by Wesfarmers. It produces ~ 3Mt of coal a year. Wesfarmers are currently exploring the option of exporting coal through Bunbury’s port.
See the premier coal website with a cool virtual tour
‘Bluewaters’ is a seres of four new coal powerstations constructed and run by Griffin Energy. Each unit will produce 208MW of power. Unit one started burning coal in early 2009. Unit two is set to be commissioned in late 2009. Units three and four are still under proposal and may be commissioned in 2012 and 2014.
Bluewaters power station has was the centre of controversy in May this year when workers were exposed to carcinogenic fly ash and walked off the job. Workers have also walked off the job a various times this year over safety and fair pay.
Bluewaters was the target of climate and forest activists in June who shut down the main conveyor of the plant for around eight hours. Story Photos and Video The forest activists were angry that bluewaters had won a tender from the Forest Products Commission to buy between 250,000 and 400,000 tonnes of native forest logs a year to burn and claim ‘renewable energy credits’.
Muja is WA’s oldest and most polluting power station. It was opened in 1966. It is operated by Verve energy, a state government corporation. It has two 200MW generators and two 227MW generators. There are four older, smaller generators that have been decommissioned. Find more info about Muja on Verve’s website.
Collie power station is operated by verve energy and owned by the state government. It was opened in 1999 and produces 300MW of electricity. See verve’s wesite here.
Collie was the target of climate activists in November last year who want to see coal phased out. See photos here That action was part of a week of actions around Australia targeting ‘climate criminals’. Click here for more stories
Kwinana power station is in Kwinana, not Collie, however it uses coal, transported by train that is mined in Collie. The power sation is also capable of burning oil and gas and produces 660MW of electricity. Verve’s website has some more useful information.
Urea fertiliser plant
Perdaman Chemical and Fertilisers, formerly North West Chemicals and Fertilisers, plans to develop a coal-to-urea plant at the Shotts Industrial Park, near Collie. The plant will use coal gasification to make the fertiliser. Around 2.7 Mt/a of coal will be used to produce approximately 2 Mt/a of urea, primarily for export to India. The urea will be transported to Bunbury Port by rail. The company has commenced environmental approval processes and has Government approval to obtain land in the Shotts Industrial Park. Supply and off-take arrangements are agreed and will be finalised by early 2010. Construction is expected to commence in 2010 with the first shipment of urea occurring in 2013. The coal is likely to come from Griffin’s Ewington 2 proposed mine.