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Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has granted a works approval application for IPM Operation & Maintenance Loy Yang P/L to upgrade Loy Yang B power station in the Latrobe Valley.
The approval will enable the company to retrofit new, higher efficiency turbine blades to each of the existing power generating units.
Submissions were taken into consideration as part of EPA’s assessment of the application.
EPA has determined that the environmental risk posed by this proposal is low and complies with the relevant state environment protection policies and guidelines. A works approval with conditions has been issued.
The rights and mechanism to appeal the decision are detailed on the works approval statutory document (under ‘Works Approval information and obligations’).
During a works approval assessment the application is advertised and opened for public submissions.
The advertisement period was open for 21 days and ended on 12 October 2016. The company held a community information session on 5 October at the Traralgon Business Centre, 55 Grey Street, Traralgon, and provided more information about the proposal. EPA attended the session.
During this time two submissions were received from two organisations:
The company responded to these submissions:
The company had sought EPA’s advice on whether a works approval was required or if the proposal could be exempted under its existing licence conditions. While the proposed increase in emissions would not exceed the company’s existing limits, EPA considered these to be significant works and therefore a works approval was required.
The upgrade will require the burning of approximately 400,000 additional tonnes of coal per annum, resulting in a four per cent increase in carbon emissions. It will result in a five per cent improvement in greenhouse gas intensity and make Loy Yang B the least greenhouse intensive brown coal fired power generator in Victoria.
Any additional carbon emissions driven by increased electricity production will be offset by an equivalent amount of power generation capacity being taken offline elsewhere. Any increase in emissions of other substances driven by increased electricity production will not exceed the company’s existing EPA licence limits. The company will have to provide actual data to EPA after commissioning the upgrade to show that the emissions produced match the modelled values.
The application was referred to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Latrobe City Council for comment.
The Minister for Planning deemed that an environment effects statement is not required.