Synergy applies to increase fly ash dam

Collie energy giant Synergy has proposed a plan to clear 4.42 hectares of natural vegetation to increase the capacity of one of its fly ash storage dams.

Fly ash is a fine powder waste by-product of the coal burning process in electric generation power plants and is primarily the non-combustible mineral component of black coal.

Synergy's Muja Power Station filed an application with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to raise the perimeter embankments of its Fly Ash Storage Dam Cell 1 to provide further storage of fly ash produced at the local station.

According to the application Muja Power Station is approved under its licence to meet a design capacity of 200,000 tonnes of fly ash per annual period.

"The raising of the embankment of Cell 1 by 2.5 metres to 261 metres aims to increase its storage capacity by 550,000 m3," the application read.

Synergy proposes to clear 4.42 hectares of native vegetation to extract clay material for the perimeter embankment raise of the dam.

"Clearing of a borrow area is required to source suitable construction material for the wall of the facility," the application read.

"The borrow area proposed has a current approved clearing permit assessed under the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004 (WA) (Clearing Regulations)."

If approved the works will also produce a number of waste emissions or discharges including dust, wastewater discharges, waste and leachate, noise and potentially contaminated storm water.

If approved the works are planned to begin this month and the dam will be completed by September 2020.