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EPA Director authorises proposal for diesel generators at Hellyer Mine

10 May 2016

The Director of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) announced today that he has authorised Hydro Tasmania to commence the use of supplementary diesel generators at Hellyer Mine Substation.

This proposal by Hydro Tasmania is for the temporary operation of twelve 1 MW diesel generators at Hellyer Mine, generating up to 12 MW of electricity for transmission via the existing substation. The containerised diesel units and associated infrastructure would be located on Crown Land at the Hellyer Mine site, which is operated by Hellyer Gold Mines Pty Limited, and situated approximately 22 km northeast of the town of Tullah.

The proposal was referred to the EPA as a requirement under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act (1994) as the burning of greater than 1 tonne per hour of diesel fuel is defined as a Level 2 activity.

The EPA Director, Wes Ford authorised the activity to proceed under provisions of the Act designed for urgent situations such as this, explaining that the timeframe required for a full assessment process would preclude Hydro Tasmania from commencing operation in order to meet the energy demands of the Tasmanian community.

“The Authorization is based on my belief that further delays in generating power would pose a greater threat to the environment and property,” Mr Ford said.

“I am satisfied that the proposal contains sufficient information for me to have considered the relevant matters, and to provide an Emergency Authorization with certain conditions,” he said.

“The EPA has been in constant communication with Hydro Tasmania regarding its temporary use of diesel generators as part of its State plan in response to the current energy situation,” said Mr Ford.

A copy of the Authorization provided to Hydro Tasmania, which contains the EPA's conditions, along with the project proposal and supplementary documentation, are provided below:

Hydro Tasmania - Emergency Authorization - Hellyer Supplementary Diesel Generators

Hydro Tasmania - Hellyer - Supplementary Generation Project Proposal

Hydro Tasmania - Hellyer and Que - Air Quality Report

Hydro Tasmania - Hellyer and Que - Stakeholder Engagement Plan