Guest essay by Eric Worrall
BHP issues jobs warning after another SA blackout
South Australia’s electricity system separated from the national power grid overnight, prompting a stern warning from BHP Billiton about threats to Australian jobs and investment.
About 200,000 homes and businesses lost power for over an hour, but BHP’s Olympic Dam operations in the north of the state were interrupted for about four hours.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) confirmed today that the disconnection happened at 1.33am, due to “an issue on the Victorian transmission network, impacting the flow via the Heywood Interconnector to South Australia”.
BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie issued an urgent warning to policy-makers after the latest incident, which comes two months after the statewide blackout led to about two weeks of lost production at Olympic Dam.
“Olympic Dam’s latest outage shows Australia’s investability and jobs are placed in peril by the failure of policy to both reduce emissions and secure affordable, dispatchable and uninterrupted power,” he said in a statement.
“The challenge to reduce emissions and grow the economy cannot fall to renewables alone.
“This is a wake-up call ahead of the COAG meeting and power supply and security must be top of the agenda and urgently addressed.”
The incident also cut power to a Victorian smelter for about three hours.
The South Australian government was quick to respond to BHP’s harsh criticism of their mismanagement of grid stability.
… Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the problems were on the Victorian side of the border and “South Australia’s grid operated effectively as an island and load began to be restored within half an hour”.
He said BHP built back-up power at its mines across the world.
“Why they haven’t done so at Olympic Dam is a matter for them,” he said. …
Read more: Same link as above
See – the problems are not the fault of South Australia’s lunatic green government driving the state electricity grid to the brink of collapse. The problem is BHP made the mistake of expecting reliable electricity – they should have built redundant backup systems, like they do in corrupt idiocracies in the third world.