Muja power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Muja power station is a 854-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Western Australia, Australia.


The map below shows the location of the plant, near Collie, Western Australia.

Loading map...

Background on Plant

Muja power station was a 1,094-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by Verve Energy, which was merged into Synergy in 2014, an electricity corporation owned by the Western Australian government. The Muja power station, which was opened in 1966, comprised of four 60 MW units in Stages A-B, two 200 MW generating units in Stage C and two 227 MW units in Stage D.[1]

A & B units refurbished, then quickly retired

On its website Verve Energy stated that "the four smallest and least efficient units, Stages A and B, were closed in April 2007. These units could be refurbished and recommissioned by 2012 as an interim measure during the transition to clean technologies." The four units were 60 MW each.[1][2]

In 2009, the Barnett government controversially decided to refurbish the aging facility by December 2011, to bolster South West energy supplies, saying the private sector would pay for the refurbishment. The project was reportedly plagued by problems from the outset, with technical and engineering difficulties leading to multiple cost and time blowouts.[3]

In June 2013, after spending A$308m on the planned recommissioning of units A & B, Premier Colin Barnett announced work had been postponed indefinitely: "units three and four continue to operate, units 1 and 2 are basically mothballed".[4] Critics say the government should face a public inquiry over its decision to revive the plant, as the private investor had pulled out amid ballooning project costs, leaving taxpayers footing the bill.[5]

As of 2014, two units of Muja A and B were used intermittently.[6] The units were plagued by operational and reliability problems, generating electricity just 20 percent of the time.[3]

In May 2017, Labor energy minister Ben Wyatt said plants A and B would be retired permanently.[7] Synergy planned to retire two units at Muja AB in September 2017, and the remaining two units would likely be retired in April 2018.[8]

In September 2017 Wyatt announced that all units at Muja A/B would be closed by the end of the month due to safety concerns and the high cost of repairs needed to keep the plant operational. “$300 million of taxpayers' money was wasted on this project due to their disastrous management,” Wyatt said. “Muja AB will be remembered as the embodiment of the previous government’s lack of respect for the taxpayers of WA."[9] In March 2018, Synergy confirmed it had made an additional US$20.3 million provision for decommissioning the coal-fired generator.[3]

C & D retirement plans

As of December 2018, the plant was expected to close in 2023.[10]

In August 2019, the Australian government announced that Muja-C would be retired by Oct. 1, 2022 and Muja-D would be retired by Oct. 1, 2024.[11] Keeping these units open longer would cost taxpayers an estimated $350 million.[11]

In June 2021 the retirement date for Muja-C Unit 1 was given as 2022, and Muja-C Unit 2 it was 2024.[12]

In June 2022, Premier Mark McGowan announced the government-owned power utility Synergy would shut its remaining coal-fired plants by 2029. Two units at the Muja power station were still scheduled to close later in 2022 and in 2024. The remaining capacity was set to close in 2029. The government proposed to spend A$3.5 billion (US$2.4 billion) over 10 years on 800 MW of new wind capacity, battery storage and potentially pumped hydropower. The announcement left just the Bluewaters power station as the only remaining coal plant in the Western Australian grid.[13]

In October 2022, Stage C Unit 5 was retired.[14]

Coal source

Coal for the power station was sourced from the Muja mine operated by Griffin Coal.[15]

Plant Details

  • Sponsor: Synergy
  • Parent company: Synergy (Government of Western Australia)
  • Location: Collie, Western Australia, Australia
  • Coordinates: -33.445875, 116.3075275 (exact)
  • Gross capacity & Status: 1,094 MW
    • Muja Stage A, Units 1 & 2: 60 MW (Retired in 2017)
    • Muja Stage B, Units 3 & 4: 60 MW (Retired in 2017)
    • Muja Stage C, Unit 5: 200 MW (Retired in 2022)
    • Muja Stage C, Unit 6: 200 MW (Operating)
    • Muja Stage D, Units 7 & 8: 227 MW (Operating)
  • Type: Subcritical
  • In service: Muja-A: 1966-2017; Muja-B: 1968-9 - 2017; Muja-C: 1980-81; Muja-D: 1984-85
  • Proposed retirements: Unit C-5: 2024, Unit C-6: 2024, Units D-7 and D-8: 2029
  • Coal type:
  • Coal source: Muja mine
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Verve Energy, "Muja," Verve Energy website, accessed November 2010
  2. Verve Energy, "Generating Capacity," Verve Energy website, accessed November 2010
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Daniel Mercer, "Muja AB closure to cost $20m," The West Australian, March 26, 2018
  4. "Government suspends work on Muja power station". ABC. ABC. June 25, 2013.
  5. "Call for inquiry into Muja Power Station Fiasco". ABC. ABC. June 25, 2013.
  6. "Coal rules again at power," The West Australian, August 3, 2014
  7. Sophie Vorrath, "WA to close Muja coal units, in first signs of major shift to renewables," Renew Economy, May 5, 2017
  8. "Muja AB set to close four units," Collie Mail, 5 May 2017
  9. "Collie’s Muja AB power station to close in multi-million dollar loss," The West Australian, September 13, 2017
  10. Matt Mckenzie"Signs Point to Coal Closures," Business News, December 2018
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Muja Power Station in Collie to be scaled back from 2022," Government of Western Australia, Aug. 5, 2019
  12. "Surging solar making South West power grid hard to manage," Boiling Cold, June 17, 2021
  13. "Synergy coal power stations including Muja to close as WA Government prioritises renewable energy," ABC News, June 14, 2022
  14. "Paul Murray: Electricity regulator issues blackout warning for WA as Government's coal phase-out hits home," The West Australian, September 23, 2022
  15. Griffn Coal, "Muja Mine," Griffin Coal website, accessed November 2010

Related articles

External resources

External articles