News State Victoria Anglesea power plant set to be blown up again

Anglesea power plant set to be blown up again

alcoa asbestos anglesea
The coal-fired station at Anglesea was decommissioned in 2015. Photo: AAP
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A disused power plant on Victoria’s Surf Coast will be blown up a second time, after the first attempt failed.

Aluminium giant Alcoa will again try to explode the Anglesea plant in the first week of October, so long as wind is not blowing towards the town.

“The activity may be audible in Anglesea for approximately 10 seconds and is expected to sound similar to the first demolition, like claps of thunder,” Alcoa warned in a community statement on Wednesday.

The demolition will be done with “controlled explosives”, generating “localised” dust.

Industrial Demolition Services will go ahead with the second demolition, with help from a subcontractor.

Alcoa’s first attempt at blowing up the decommissioned station failed in May.

“The demolition activity, which was safely executed, did not result in the complete collapse of the structure,” the statement said.

“Asbestos monitoring during and since the first demolition activity has shown no cause for concern.”

Airborne asbestos was not detected at levels above safety regulations, Alcoa said.

The station and mine was closed in 2015 before a 12-month asbestos removal program was undertaken with oversight from WorkSafe Victoria.

The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) in June alleged the failed demolition could have left locals open to asbestos exposure by leaving a “suspected toxic mess”.

Victorian Greens in July tried to have Alcoa covered by freedom of information laws.

Alcoa said it’s working with WorkSafe Victoria, EPA Victoria, police, the SES and Country Fire Authority on the demolition.

WorkSafe said it was reviewing Alcoa’s final preparations for demolition, including asbestos management.

“The demolition cannot take place until WorkSafe is satisfied Alcoa’s plans are adequate.”