With great foresight, Queensland’s largest power station was first conceived in 1969 following site investigations for the most appropriate location. Its construction by the Government designated State Electricity Commission of Queensland resulted in the viability of much of the industry that is now based in the Gladstone Region.
Initially the Southern Electricity Authority of Queensland (SEAQ) had the responsibility of constructing the station. Following the official opening by Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen in September 1976, SEAQ was responsible for the operation of the station. The Queensland Electrical Generating Board assumed total control of the station’s operation and construction after a reorganisation of the State’s electricity supply industry in July 1977.
The coal-fired power station was expected to comprise four boiler turbo generator units, though the addition of two similar units increased the station’s capacity to 1,680 megawatts.
In October 1988 a $42 million refurbishment program improved the station’s overall operational and environmental performance, making it more competitive with the new generating stations at Tarong and Callide
When Comalco started planning the Boyne Island Smelter expansion in 1988 they sought a secure source of power and competitively priced energy. To provide certainty of cost and security of supply the option to purchase Gladstone Power Station was evaluated.
Following extensive and detailed negotiations the sale of the station to the GPS Joint Venture was finalised in March 1994 and was a precondition to a commitment from certain Joint Venture associates to build a third aluminium potline at the Boyne Island Smelter at a cost of over $900 million.
Following the sale of the station a $180 million capital works program was undertaken, half of which was allocated for environmental improvements. The most obvious of these changes was the reduction of stack emissions which resulted from the replacement of outdated flue gas cleaning equipment with fabric filters. Gladstone Power Station continues to play a vital role in the growth of the Gladstone region.