Progress made on Yallourn

IT MAY be "weeks" before the coal supply conveyor belt in the Yallourn mine is operational again, but its owner TRUenergy says it has made progress in identifying interim solutions to the disruptions caused to its power supply following the recent floods.

The Mowell River broke its banks last week, wiping out a conveyor belt and shutting down two others, forcing the power station to reduce its output capacity to 25 per cent.

Speaking to The Express yesterday, a TRUenergy spokesperson said the power station continued to operate on one generator unit and continued to truck coal to the power station.

"The good news is we were able to access the area that collapsed and inspect the breach and can make a full assessment of what needs to be done," the spokesperson said.

"We are starting work to allow us to reinstate a coal conveyor; we have independent geotechnical and engineering specialists on-site who are helping us develop a plan to move the water across the mine site and into the Latrobe River."

The spokesperson said the company had not been able to put a dollar value to the cost of the repairs, saying TRUenergy's focus was on "recovery".

"That (both rivers') water levels have continued to fall has helped in the recovery phase," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the river had been redirected from the conveyors on the weekend through an unused part of the mine.

"The timeframe (for completion of repairs) will vary; we hope we will have one conveyor up and operating by the end of the month," the spokesperson said, adding "permanent repairs" to other affected areas will take time.