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AGL Energy, Loy Yang and GHD – a Further Case Study in Alliancing: Ten Years on


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Author D Clark, J Bohan, P Currie and J Missen


AGL is one of Australia’s leading integrated energy companies and the largest ASX listed owner, operator and developer of renewable energy and thermal generation in the country. AGL owns and operates the 2210 MW Loy Yang A power station and adjacent 30 Mt/a brown coalmine in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria. It also supplies coal to the nearby 1050 MW Loy Yang B power station owned by the GDF Suez (Engie)/Mitsui partnership. The mine is currently nearly 5 km long, more than 2 km wide at the operating face and up to 200 m deep. AGL employs a large workforce at Loy Yang and a substantial amount of services are performed on-site by contractors and consultants.

GHD provides mine planning, earth sciences, civil/geotechnical engineering, dam surveillance, plant engineering and environmental services to AGL Loy Yang through an alliance framework. GHD is one of the world’s leading professional services companies operating in the global markets of water; energy and resources; environment; property and buildings; and transportation. In addition to GHD’s global footprint, the company also has a significant Victorian presence, including a permanent, well-resourced regional office in Traralgon, approximately 10 km from Loy Yang, as well as a permanent site office.

A joint paper on the Loy Yang mine professional services alliance model was written for the AusIMM International Mine Management Conference in 2006 by Woods and Wood. Now ten years on, this paper provides an overview of the present relationship and arrangements, including the continued transformation of the alliance model and maturing of the relationship contract.

These are challenging times, with increasing cost and regulatory pressure driving change in the broader energy and resources industry, and locally including both the mining and power sectors at Loy Yang. Flexible models to achieve a balance between internal personnel and access to key external skills, whilst achieving value for money and transparency, is increasingly critical. The right drivers and performance measures are essential, particularly when confronted with potential major technical and environmental risks (considering significant ground failure and fire events that have occurred elsewhere within the Latrobe Valley over the last decade) within a sector that is reducing costs and optimising production.

This case study discusses the alliance status and changes, reasons behind adjustments and what the future is likely to hold. The paper also explores the validity of the original objectives and the extent to which they have been achieved. The philosophy of the alliance is to continue closely aligning the objectives of the two companies in the best interests of the Loy Yang site and immediate surrounds/stakeholders. Quality of service, costs, timeliness, health and safety (H&S) and some operational activities (aquifer depressurisation) remain important aspects and are reflected in key indicators for which performance is measured.


Clark, D, Bohan, J, Currie, P and Missen, J, 2016. AGL energy, Loy Yang and GHD – a further case study in alliancing: ten years on, in Proceedings International Mine Management Conference, pp 321-330 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).