Augusta Power Stations Decommissioning

Project Overview

McMahon Services have been appointed as the Principal Contractor for the two year project involving the decommissioning of the Port Augusta Power Station, following an eight month planning period where we have worked collaboratively with Flinders Power to prepare for the demolition, asset salvage and decommissioning of the Port Augusta Power Station and assets.

This is a unique delivery model for McMahon Services, with an Alliance Leadership Team formed with Flinders Power who share our strong commitment to delivering the project in accordance with our core values of Safety, Teamwork, Leadership and Integrity. The Alliance will see the partnership of both the Owner Party (FPP) and Non-owner party (McMahon Services) to create a single team working unanimously, collaboratively, and cooperatively and acting in good faith to make best-for-project decisions.

The last day of power generation was the 9th May 2016. Mobilisation to site and the commencement of the two year program occurred in June 2016.

Charge Felling

McMahon Services and Flinders Power have worked closely with specialist demolition contractor Precision Demolition to undertake some of the largest and most complex charge felling works in Australia. In September 2016 the significantly deteriorated 60 year old Playford A Stack was successfully and safely felled, reaching the first major milestone in the two year decommissioning program of the Power Stations.

Appropriate exclusion zones (land and sea) were strictly enforced by SA Police and security contractors, ensuring personnel and public safety.

Flinders Power Managing Director, Michael Riches said “felling of the stack early in the two year program allows for more efficient demolition of other areas of the site and enhances safety for personnel working in and around the ‘Active Demolition Zone’ at Playford.” said Michael.

Plans are currently in place to fell the remaining two exhaust stacks, being 200 metres and 79.25 metres in height. Detailed engineering and design works are underway for the separation and felling of two off 80 metres high hanging boilers with structural steel columns up to 2 metres in section and 70mm thick. The project will see the use of approved on-site magazines along with international shipments and licenced import of explosive charges.

Mechanical Demolition

McMahon Services utilises in-house plant and equipment, consisting of large demolition machinery, including a Komatsu PC 1250 excavator specifically designed for demolition works with a custom designed demolition attachment allowing for a reach of up to 44 metres. In support of this, McMahon Services provide a range of excavators including Komatsu PC 850, PC 450, PC 300, PC 220 and smaller.

We have a wide range of cranes, working at heights equipment and heavy haulage plant. Further to this fleet, McMahon Services, in partnership with Komatsu have commissioned the largest excavator shear attachment in the world; specially designed to fit our new 400 tonne demolition excavator. McMahon Services have provided dedicated on-site mechanics and boilermakers on the project to ensure machines operate with minimum stand-down time and at maximum safety standard.

Community Engagement

McMahon Services (the principal decommissioning contractor) has directly employed local labour whose skills meet the project requirements. Local businesses have been regularly engaged to support the project and strong working relationships established during sensitive closures.

The Alliance provide regular project updates to workforce and local community in the form of newsletters, regular face-to-face meetings with local government authorities and emergency services, as well as frequent project status reports to stakeholders and regulatory bodies. A detailed Stakeholder Management Plan has allowed for the open and effective communication between the Alliance and all project stakeholders.


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