Callide power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Callide power station is a 1,620-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Queensland, Australia.


The map below shows the location of the plant, near Biloela, Queensland.

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Background on Plant

The Callide power station is located 18 kilometres east of Biloela in central Queensland and comprises Callide A, B, and C plants. Callide A was originally constructed in 1965; one of its 30MW units was recommissioned to become home of the Callide Oxyfuel Project. The 2 x 350MW Callide B plant was commissioned in 1989, while the 2 x 460MW supercritical Callide C plant was commissioned in 2001.[1]

The plant underwent an A$49 million program of overhaul and maintenance that was scheduled to last from September 2018 to December 2018.[2]

In 2018, The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) estimated that Callide-B will operate for the duration of its 50-year life cycle, or until 2039.[3]

However, in October 2019 it was reported Callide-B will now close in 2028, not 2039 as originally planned.[4]

Callide-C is planned for retirement in 2038.[5]

Explosion and outages

On May 25, 2021, there was an explosion at the Callide-C power station, which triggered a fire in one of the turbine halls and caused three units to go offline, triggering major power outages across Queensland. In total, about 470,000 customers were affected.[6] CFMMEU Mining and Energy Vice President Shane Brunker stated that repairs to the plant could take "months, if not years" and would cost millions of dollars.[7] Bunker also called the incident a "catastrophic failure" and a "worst-case scenario". A spokesman for Energex, Danny Donald, stated that he had not seen such a bad blackout in his 15 years in the industry.[8]

In July 2021, CS Energy announced that Unit 4 would not be brought back online until December 2022.[9] In May 2022, CS Energy said that Unit 4 would be rebuilt and operating again by February 2023.[10]

In November 2022, a structural failure occurred when part of the cooling equipment collapsed in Callide-C. The remaining 460 MW unit would be offline for 3 weeks, meaning the entirety of Callide-C was inoperative.[11] The next day, a safety protection system detected a heat pump issue in Callide-B; the B units proceeded to trip and the entire power station was offline for at least two days.[12]

As of March 2023, both units at Callide-C were reportedly still completely offline, and had been so since October of 2022.[13] At the time, a CS Energy statement had confirmed that efforts were still underway to get both units of Callide-C back up and running normally.[13]

A March 2023 report released by CS Energy publicized new estimates for the return dates of the two Callide-C units. For Unit C-3, it was estimated that a capacity of 300 MW would be available in September 2023, and 466 MW would be available by December 2023. For Unit C-4, the following available capacities were estimated to be ready by the following dates:

  • 31 Oct 2023 – 300 MW
  • 30 Nov 2023 – 350 MW
  • 31 Jan 2024 – 466MW [14]

While CS Energy assured the public that the units would be back in service near the end of 2023, the plant's co-owner Genuity (formerly InterGen) reportedly underwent voluntary administration following shareholders' disagreement regarding "the venture's future funding." [15]

In May 2023, CS Energy again revised their estimates for the return dates of the two Callide-C units, citing the "complexity of rebuilding the cooling towers, the risks of supply chain issues and recommissioning the new C4 generator and turbine." Unit C-3 was expected to be back at 50% capacity by January 2024, and at 466 MW in February 2024. Unit C-4 was expected to be at 50% capacity by May 2024, and at 420 MW by July 2024.[16]

Plant Details: Callide-B

  • Sponsor: CS Energy Corp Ltd
  • Parent company: CS Energy
  • Location: Biloela, Queensland, Australia
  • Coordinates: -24.3441024, 150.6187458 (exact)
  • Status: Units 1-2: Operating
  • Gross capacity: 700 MW (Units 1 & 2: 350 MW)
  • Type: Subcritical (Callide-B)
  • In service: 1989 (Callide-B)
  • Retirement date: 2028 (Callide-B)
  • Coal type: Sub-bituminous
  • Coal source:
  • Source of financing:

Plant Details: Callide-C

  • Sponsor: CS Energy Corp Ltd
  • Parent company: CS Energy, Genuity
  • Location: Biloela, Queensland, Australia
  • Coordinates: -24.3441024, 150.6187458 (exact)
  • Status: Units 3-4: Mothballed
  • Gross capacity: 920 MW (Units 3 & 4: 460 MW)
  • Type: Supercritical (Callide-C)
  • In service: 2001 (Callide-C)
  • Retirement date: 2038 (Callide-C)
  • Coal type: Sub-bituminous
  • Coal source:
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources


  1. CS Energy, "Callide", CS Energy website, accessed June 2011.
  2. Callide power station to undergo $49 million overhaul, Central Telegraph, Sep. 3, 2018
  3. 2018 Integrated System Plan, AEMO, Jul. 17, 2018
  4. "Qld to close coal-fired power station a decade early," Financial Review, Oct. 7, 2019
  5. Labor searches for the right medicine in Queensland climate campaign, Sydney Morning Herald, Apr. 25, 2022
  6. Lucy Stone,What happened at Queensland's Callide Power Station and will we lose power again?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, May 25, 2021
  7. Kylie Stevens, Explosion at Queensland power station will take 'years' to repair, Australia Associated Press, May 25, 2021
  8. Emma Pollard, Queensland blackout to be investigated after fire at Callide Power Station cuts power to large parts of the state, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, May 25, 2021
  9. Callide power unit won’t return until December 2022, Australian Financial Review, Jul. 7, 2021
  10. One year on from Callide Power Station fire, answers are still being sought, ABC, May 25, 2022
  11. 'Structural failure' at Callide Power Station near Biloela leaves unit offline, ABC, November 1, 2022
  12. Callide Power Station in central Queensland completely offline, ABC, November 3, 2022
  13. 13.0 13.1 Fresh blow for Queensland coal, as shareholder dispute topples Callide C co-owner, Renew Economy, March 27, 2023
  15. Co-owners of troubled plant in voluntary administration, PerthNow, March 24, 2023

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