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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Liddell Power Station celebrates 50 years of operation

The first power station of its kind, Liddell, will commemorate a special milestone in the Hunter Valley today.

Located inland, between Muswellbrook and Singleton, the facility included construction of neighbouring Lake Liddell to support its water storage and colling requirements.

Now, five decades after it was commissioned, the Liddell Power Station continues to provide electricity to hundreds of thousands of Australians every day. 

Situated on Wonnarua land, Liddell will celebrate 50 years of operation on Friday 21 May, with current and former employees coming together to mark the occasion and recognise the significant role it has played in Australia’s energy security.

AGL chief operating officer Markus Brokhof said the station had ensured reliable, affordable and safe electricity as well as being a critical anchor in the Hunter community.

“I am honoured to be among more than 450 Liddell enthusiasts celebrating their work and contribution to the community over 50 years,” he stated.

“Over Liddell’s lifespan, thousands of employees have come through its gates, helping to generate more than 400 million mega-watt hours (MWh) of electricity.

“Annually, the station produces enough energy to power more than one million average Australian homes.

“As we move towards Liddell’s closure, I want to reaffirm our strong commitment to supporting our Liddell workforce and the Upper Hunter.

“We are currently developing plans for an Energy Hub at Liddell, which will include solar storage systems, grid-scale batteries and a waste to energy facility.

“Liddell and the people who have operated it have been the backbone of the electricity grid and we’re committed to seeing this site continue its legacy in the next phase of its life.

“From all of us at AGL, our gratitude and congratulations to everyone who has been part of this journey.”

Starting work at Liddell in 1979, operator Steve Lanesbury said the station just kept on giving.

“It’s a Liddell thing,” he explained.

“For me, it’s forged a lot of friendships and created a lot of unforgettable memories.

“She is to go on until 2023, up until then I hope she will just keep on giving like she has for the past 50 years.”

Eli Serhan was among the early apprentices when he walked on site in 1971.

He said the anniversary had prompted him to reflect on the memories he had created over his years at Liddell.  

“I’ve had so many opportunities since starting as an electrical apprentice at Liddell and seeing the first unit come online in 1971,” he added.

“Being from a migrant family, my work at Liddell allowed me to grow and develop a rewarding career while providing a secure lifestyle for my loved ones.

“I am proud to still be part of Liddell’s story, serving the energy industry and keeping the lights on.”

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