South Fremantle Power Station

Timeline

2016

  • (30 April) – A Byford man died after he fell from the second floor. The 24 year old man fell 15 metres through a hole in the floor just before 6pm on Saturday night. Emergency services workers provided the man with medical assistance but he died a short time later.

2012

  • The dead car is now back outside.

 

2011

  • Reports state that entry to the upper floors is still accessible, through a window to the office area, to the left of the entry into the main area (as you look at the building from the outside)

  • Visitors have reported once you get to the upper levels, a lot of the walkways and bridges tend to be a little iffy, some creak/crack as you walk on them, others such as the ladders to the upper outer balconies have a lot of rust on them and could break at any time

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2009

  • (July) Authorities deliberately collapse the only entrance tunnel and barricaded it. 2 inches of steel plate and at least 40 tonnes of sand and rock. Other people state that three subterranean levels that still had heavy machinery left behind have now been completely filled with sand and rubble by Western Poer to prevent both unauthorised entry and to reduce the risk of collapse. Occult cults are said practice their sinister rituals in the tunnels. Pentagrams are scattered throughout the buildings empty rooms.

  • 10 years after a dead car was left behind at the power station, it is still there. It used to sit outside the building where people used to throw rocks and bricks at it, then someone moved it inside. Some people report it as being a vintage Datsun 120Y while another said was a Holden Torano.

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2004

  • American Industrial metal band Fear Factory filmed their music video for the single Cyberwaste off their album Archetype. They managed to get a crowd, their equipment, a film crew and taped a music video inside the power station without any kind of information. Police did turn up but they didn't take action other than to supervise, particularly as there were too many people. Somewhere inside there’s a huge Fear Factory logo.

1998

  • In one of the rooms on the second level there is unmistakable blood on one of the walls, including signs in the stains of a struggle. A police officer confirmed to the person who witnessed this that there was no clean-up of the crime scene before the lower tunnels and admin block was "sealed".

​1997

  • The power station was listed as interim heritage protected

 

​1995/1996

  • Three murders took place at the South Fremantle Power Station.

 

​1994

  • The power station was almost entirely guttered by demolition contractors, who conducted the removal of asbestos and hydrocarbons from the building and grounds, and stripped all removable equipment and plant from the roof and interior. This process was intended to prepare the building for sale and demolition. The only significant piece of equipment left within the building is the 70 ton ‘Perry’ gantry crane which serviced the length of the turbine hall.

​1991/92

  • A murder took place at the South Fremantle Power Station.

​1988

  • Major deconstruction of the plant began with the removal of four chimney stacks, rooftop dust precipitators and the coal conveyor system.

 

1985

  • (September) The South Fremantle Power Station was decommissioned and closed after 34 years service. Approximately 60 jobs were lost although some workers were provided employment elsewhere within SECWA.

  • Exiting below to the control rooms to the north of the building and continuing in that direction, the tunnel located here bore the electrical output from the power station to the switchyard to the north, which is still extant and operational. It was back filled and sealed during the process of decommissioning.

 

​1981

  • The East Perth Power Station closed.

​​1980's

  • By the 1980s, production of electricity at South Fremantle had become uneconomical. The interconnected grid then was supplying electricity from power stations with more up-to-date machinery and closer to the coal source at Collie, Bunbury, Kwinana and Muja.

  • (Mid 80’s) – the State Energy Commission of WA sampled for PCBs around the South Fremantle Power Station groyne, following the detection of PCB which was traced to capacitors in the groyne structure. Upon dismantling the groyne, it was discovered that all of the capacitors were located intact and above the water level. The capacitors were removed and the groyne rebuilt.

1974

  • (March) – The net loss of four million barrels per day ended.

  • (December) – The nominal price of oil had quadrupled to more than $12.00.

  • The South Fremantle plant converted back to using coal for fuel which fuelled the station until its closure.

1973

  • (October 5) – Syria and Egypt launched an attack on Israel, which started the Yom Kippur War. The United States and many countries in the western world showed their support for Israel. In reaction to the support shown for Israel, several Arab crude oil-exporting nations imposed an embargo on the the countries supporting Israel. They curtailed production by five million barrels per day, despite other countries being able to increase production by a million barrels. The loss of four million barrels per day extended through to March 1974.

  • Oil prices soared, increasing 400% in six months

1970

  • The Kwinana power plant was constructed

1966

  • The Muja power plant was constructed

End of 1950's

  • With B station being completed and coming on full load, the plant employed over 200 people, mostly men.

 

​​​​1957

  • Both Collie and Bunbury plants were online and linked to the grid.

1954

  • (January) - The No.3 turbo alternator came online

  • (December) – The No.4 turbo alternator came online. The power station was now complete with a total capacity of 100 MW.

  • (December 11) – 48 year old linesman William Ralph Thomas Vowles was burnt and crippled by power lines carrying 22,000 volts. He was badly burnt on the scalp, the left forearm and the toes of his left foot. Later in the Fremantle Hospital, the forearm and two twoes were amputated. Only his safety belt prevented a serious fall after he touched the wires. Other linesmen working nearby lowered him to the ground and gave him artificial respiration, using a ladder as a rocking stretcher across a truck until a St John ambulance arrived.

  • A major fire in the coal conveyor from the crusher house caused structural damage that was so severe, it force the plant to switch to oil fuel for the boilers. Intial testing of the machinery was conducting using oil fuel as the coal handling facilities were still under construction at the time but as in most coal-fired plants, they are designed to be able to run on either fuel sources.

 

​1952

  • Engineers believed they had solved the problem of ‘spontaneous combustion tendencies’ occuring with Collie coal when it was stored in bulk for long periods of time. They built windbreaks and compacting the loads to deprive them of air, monitoring the internal temperatures of the stockpiles.

  • (February 29) 25 year old rigger Martin Hill died after falling 30 feet from steel framework within the building. He died in the Fremantle Hospital the next day, after receiving a fractured left thigh, a compound fracture of the jaw and a fractured collarbone in the fall.

 

​1951

  • The South Fremantle Power Station in North Coogee opened after years of construction to power a growing Perth and Fremantle metropolis

  • (January) – The four boilers of ‘A’ station were fired up

  • (May) – The No.1 25 MW turbo-alternator came on line

  • (June 27) – The South Fremantle Power Station was officially opened by Hon. David Brand, Minister for Electricity

  • (September) – The No.2 25 MW turbo alternator came on line

​1950's

  • At its peak, 250 people are employed at the power station, mostly men.

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1946

  • (January) Construction began on the South Fremantle Power Station. The site was chosen for its relatively close proximity to the metropolitan population, railway facilities/rail lines for the delivery of coal and the ease with which seawater could be utilised for the cooling system. At full load, the completed plant would draw in 5,000,000 gallons (22.7ML) of seawater per hour, using in the cooling of the plant’s four condensors. The rail lines were required to connect the plant to its fuel supply, the coalmines of Collie. Construction took place with lingering wartime shortages of material and in difficult conditions so the plant’s constructions were far over budget. Initially estimated at $7 million, it ended up blowing up to a final cost of $17m. Much of the plant was designed and manufactured in England, including the turbines, condesers and transformers being sources from firms such as Metropolitan Vickers and C.A. Parsons, with skilled contractors sent out from England to assemble the plant on site. Some of the plant was sourced domestically where possible.

​​1945

  • The State Energy Commission was formed to unify WA’s power supply under one parent organisation in order to catch up with demand. Under the new, unified direction of the SEC, new generation facilities were to be built at South Fremantle, Bunbury and Collie as part of the South-West Power Scheme.

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