Warren Martens with a model of the Stanwell/ Swanbank B Plant where he has worked since 1966. The Swanbank Power Station are showcasing models and relics from the station.
Warren Martens with a model of the Stanwell/ Swanbank B Plant where he has worked since 1966. The Swanbank Power Station are showcasing models and relics from the station. Sarah Harvey

Secret world of Swanbank B

SWANBANK B power station closed this year after 40 years of operation, leaving a large powerhouse vacant and specialist equipment and tools lying idle.

However, many of the station's gems haven't been left to gather dust.

Giant spanners, turbines, scale models and a host of other relics from the coal-fired station are now on show to the public at the Ipswich Community Gallery.

Having worked at Swanbank B from day one to its closure on May 24, 2012, Warren Martens can also be considered part of the furniture.

Fittingly, Mr Martens will be one of the station workers on hand to provide information to gallery visitors.

The Stanwell employee said much had changed in the industry since he started working at Swanbank in 1966.

"At Swanbank B it could be dirty and hot, but if you obeyed the rules you wouldn't get hurt," Mr Martens said.

"People used to see smoke coming from the station until about 1994, when filters were put in and there was relatively no visible smoke.

"Now, Swanbank E is here and it's much cleaner - it puts out about one-third of the carbon dioxide and because it's dual source, it doubles the output."

Mr Martens said he was looking forward to giving adults and children alike an insight into the power industry.

"Not many people know how a power station works, and we have a fantastic schematic here that shows how Swanbank B worked, from delivery of the coal to the output," he said.

Mr Martens said the show let community and employees to say goodbye to Swanbank B.

Stanwell community relations officer Natalie Bain said the company was proud to present the show.

"We did research in the community perception of Swanbank and found there was a lot of sentimentality and nostalgia around the plant," she said.

"We thought this would be a good way of sharing stories and information about Swanbank.

Swanbank B: A Proud Ipswich Powerhouse will be open to the public from 10am to 4pm daily until next Sunday.

Entry to the d'Arcy Doyle Pl gallery is free.



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