A new head of EnergyAustralia’s Yallourn Power Station and mine in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley has been appointed.

Julian Turecek has been appointed to the position as current power station head, Mark Pearson, retires after a decade and a half in the role.

Mr Turecek holds almost 30 years’ experience in the industry, including project and operational roles with EnergyAustralia.

EnergyAustralia said Mr Turecek will continue its approach toward Yallourn, to invest in the plant for so long as it’s needed.

In his time at EnergyAustralia, Mr Turecek was responsible for the proposed expansion of the Tallawarra Power Station in New South Wales and has managed the company’s gas-fired assets, including a 30MW addition to the Hallett Power Station in South Australia. He has also acted as Head of Yallourn.

In 2019, Engineers Australia included the Yallourn Power Station on its list of the country’s top 100 engineering achievements, a testament to the plant’s and the Latrobe Valley’s heritage as the “engine room” of Victoria’s development. 

Yallourn has played an important role in Australia’s energy transition, providing stability as renewables were added to the energy system.

EnergyAustralia Executive – Energy, Liz Westcott, said that Mr Pearson began his career as an engineer back in 1979 working on construction and commissioning Stage 2 of Yallourn ‘W’. He has led Yallourn’s 500-person workforce since 2005.

“He’s guided the plant to many triumphs and through challenges, continuing Yallourn’s wonderful legacy of providing Victoria with reliable and affordable power.

“Mark has made a remarkable, enduring contribution and will be deeply missed. We wish him all the best for a long and enjoyable retirement. He’s earned it.”

Mr Pearson oversaw an upgrade program at Yallourn, which by 2015 allowed the plant to power an additional 100,000 Victorian homes without needing to use a single, additional lump of coal.

The Yallourn plant will soon begin its most significant maintenance and upgrade works since the 1970s. The program is scheduled to run through to September, when Mr Pearson will hand over to Mr Turecek.

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