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23 February 1968 Torrens Island power station

 23 February 1968   Torrens Island power station

Premier Don Dunstan opened the first unit of the new Torrens Island power station on 23 February 1968. Torrens Island was the fourth major power station to supply the Adelaide metropolitan area following the Grenfell Street power house built in 1901, and Osborne and Port Augusta built by ETSA in the 1920s and 1950s.

Torrens Island, bounded by the Port River, North Arm and Angas Inlet, served as an interment camp for aliens in World War I and later as a wireless station. In the early 1960s the then Premier, Tom Playford, agreed that ETSA could have the government owned land at no cost. Construction began in November 1963 on the sandhill and mangrove swamp island and, as with Osborne, many steel and concrete piles were driven up to 25 metres into the ground to carry the foundations. 

Torrens Island was the first major Australian power station to use natural gas for its boilers although they are designed to use oil as well. The gas is supplied by a 780 km pipeline from the Cooper Basin gasfields in the far north-east of the State. Over the years since 1968 more generating capacity has been added to cope with the ever increasing demand for electric power.

Colin and Margaret Kerr, The Vital Spark , Unpublished MS, ETSA,
pp. 165-167.

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