As part of a decommissioning process, Northern’s 200-metre high stack will be demolished in July, according to a spokesman for Flinders Power — an offshoot of former power station operator Alinta Energy.
Other key parts of Northern, including the turbine generator, were demolished last year.
Before announcing the closure of the 540-megawatt Northern in mid-2015, Alinta unsuccessfully sought $25 million in subsidies over three years from the former South Australian Labor government to keep it operating until this year, to ensure an effective transition occurred, after a rapid rise in renewable energy made it unviable.
However, the former Weatherill government, which was ideologically opposed to coal, rejected the offer.
The demolition of the Northern Power Station is almost complete. Picture: McMahon Services.
The power plant closed in May 2016, resulting in the loss of 185 jobs, significant spikes in power prices, and a lack of energy security in South Australia.
The Leigh Creek coal mine, 260km north of Port Augusta, that fuelled the power stations closed in November 2015, resulting in the loss of more than 200 jobs.
Port Augusta mayor Sam Johnson has questioned why the Turnbull government and Alinta did not make the same effort to extend the life of Northern as they have with AGL’s Liddell plant in NSW.
In the months leading up to Northern’s closure, Mr Johnson said he was repeatedly told by the federal government that its future was a “state issue”.
Mr Johnson said it was “the greatest contradiction of all time” that the federal government was now supporting Alinta in its possible acquisition of the 1800MW Liddell in the Hunter Valley.
“I don’t know whether to feel angry, gutted, frustrated, pissed off, annoyed, let down or a little bit of everything,” Mr Johnson said earlier this month.
Long-serving premier Sir Thomas Playford established South Australia’s coal-fired power industry in the years following WWII so the state could be self-sufficient, after earlier relying on coal from NSW.
Playford B was commissioned in 1963 and Northern in 1985.