Celebrating South Australia


23 July 1954 Port Augusta Power Station

 23 July 1954 Port Augusta Power Station

The Governor, Sir Robert George, officially opened the Port Augusta power Station on 123 July 1954. Port Augusta was chosen as the site for the new power station as it was close to the Leigh Creek coalfields and had an abundant water supply. Studies had found that it would be cheaper to transmit power to Adelaide from Port Augusta than to transport coal all the way from Leigh Creek. This was the first South Australian power station to use local fuel exclusively, prior to the discovery of brown coal at Leigh Creek, South Australia had to import its needs from other states. However, there were disadvantages at the Port Augusta site for the head of the gulf is subject to great tidal variations and is mainly mangrove swamps. To overcome this, the Electricity Trust had to build a causeway nearly two kilometres across the swamp and make an artificial island on which to build. The station was renamed after the Premier, Thomas Playford, when he opened B Section on 20 July 1960.

Colin and Margaret Kerr, The Vital Spark, Unpub. MS, ETSA, 1979, pp160-61.