Healthy Futures suggests Bayswater power station has damaged pipelines, ash and chemical spills and a deteriorating particulate filter

Bayswater power station located between Singleton and Muswellbrook is owned by AGL and is expected to close in 2035.
Bayswater power station located between Singleton and Muswellbrook is owned by AGL and is expected to close in 2035.

A litany of risks at Bayswater Power Station, including damaged pipelines, ash and chemical spills and a deteriorating particulate filter, have been unearthed in a Freedom of Investigation undertaken by Healthy Futures.

A former engineer at the power station told the Sydney Morning Herald that sections of the power station were "literally falling apart".

AGL Energy currently intends to operate Bayswater Power Station until 2035, at which point the power station will be 51 years of age, but the state of the power station combined with ambitious renewable energy plans for the Hunter puts this in doubt.

In response to the claim the power station has maintenance issues an AGL spokesperson said AGL is strongly committed to ensuring the protection of the environment. This includes the operation and maintenance of its assets in accordance with good industry practices.

They went onto add since acquiring Bayswater from the NSW Government in 2014, AGL has committed approximately $42 million in expenditure towards environmental improvement programs. These programs and the related studies are publicly recorded in the conditions of the Environment Protection Licence for the power station.

"The Asset Environmental Management Review was initiated by AGL Liddell and Bayswater to assess the environmental performance of the site in line with contemporary standards," they said.

"The outcomes of the review, together with additional environmental upgrades proposed as part of the ongoing Bayswater Power Station Water and Other Associated Operational Works Project, will ensure that the site can continue to meet its environmental performance requirements until the end of its operating life.

"The safety of our people and operations is our number one priority. AGL maintains comprehensive HSE policies, standards and training across its sites, and has at all times proactively complied with its obligation to inform the NSW EPA of any notifiable environmental incidents."

Their adjoining power station Liddell is set to close in 2023.

In July this year the Singleton Argus reported AGL was fined $15,000 following a spill of toxic coal ash at Bayswater Power Station, only six months after it entered a $1 million 'enforceable undertaking' with the NSW EPA following a similar incident in September 2019.

In November we reported on another $15,000 fine issued for Liddell Power Station for allegedly exceeding its permitted air emissions.

In October this year, the World Health Organisation called on all OECD countries to phase out coal by 2030.

Over 800 healthcare workers and students and 25 health organisations have signed an open letter to AGL's Board urging them to shift to renewable energy.

Healthy Futures is a group of healthcare workers, students and community members concerned about the health impacts of pollution.