Inside the Fremantle Power Station
The South Fremantle Power Station is a former oil- and coal-fired power station located in North Coogee, Western Australia. The now disused building is listed on the Western Australian State Register of Heritage Places. The building is of Art Deco industrial design. It was the first major power generating equipment in Western Australia designed to operate on 50 Hz.
Power generation in Perth throughout the 1940s relied heavily on the sole 25-megawatt generator of the East Perth Power Station, backed up by a number of older, smaller and less efficient generators. Consequently, power cuts were frequent in the city through out this era. As a further consequence, new electrical products were only very slowly introduced in the state and take up of those by the general public was slow as the unreliable power supply meant these could not be used reliably.
Selection of the South Fremantle site for the future power station was based on a number of factors, among them the access to an existing railway line for coal deliveries, access to seawater for cooling purposes and proximity to a population centre. Planning for the new power station commenced in 1943 but construction only began after the Second World War, in January 1946.
Construction was slow and took six years to complete because of a shortage of materials like concrete, pipes and valves and, in some cases, alternative materials had to be found. In January 1951 the four boilers of Station A were first fired up, in May the alternator came online, and on 27 June 1951 the Minister for Electricity, David Brand, officially opened the power station Most of the equipment for the power station had been sourced from the United Kingdom
Since its closure, the derelict industrial building has achieved iconic status and has extensive graffiti
The building is derelict, with all windows destroyed, predominantly through vandalism. Both the concrete and the steel of the structure have deteriorated through the ingress of water.
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