Callide Power Station GM profile: Ben Hayden
Ben Hayden joined CS Energy in February 2021 as the General Manager of Callide Power Station in Central Queensland.
It was a homecoming of sorts for Ben as he worked at Callide in the late 1990s and early 2000s, first as a Turbine Engineer and later as the Technical Services Superintendent.
He left Callide in 2006 to take up an asset management role with NRG Gladstone Operating Services and later worked for Stanwell Corporation and Gladstone Ports Corporation.
Most recently, Ben worked for AGL Energy as their Head of Asset Standards, providing the Chief Engineer role to their operations division. We spoke to Ben about his career journey to date.
Why did you decide to return to CS Energy and Callide Power Station?
My previous time with CS Energy and the Callide site was a highlight of my career and family life, so coming ‘home’ to Callide has an emotional connection for me. I have worked with some great Site Managers and GMs and see this as my opportunity to give back to Callide.
The 10 years I spent working at Callide provided me with some great professional learning experiences, including the remote operation of Callide A Power Station and the construction of Callide C Power Station. (The photo below shows Ben at Callide in 2003.)
On a personal level, what I remember most from that period are some great Callide social club events and the birth of our two kids at the Biloela Hospital.
Having moved around to other sites, generators and industries since then, I have gained experience and some wisdom to contribute to the future of Callide in what is going to be a challenging time in the energy industry.
The energy sector is transitioning with increased intermittent renewables, so thermal generators like Callide Power Station have an important role to play in providing security of supply. We must help ‘keep the lights on’ while still running a safe, sustainable and commercially sound business.
How have you grown professionally and personally since you last worked at Callide?
After leaving Callide, I was fortunate to work in many areas of site and corporate engineering, asset management, business improvement and executive management. A career highlight was transforming the performance of Gladstone Power Station, including being awarded an Australian Engineering Excellence Award.
Just prior to coming back to CS Energy, I was working on portfolio strategies for one of Australia’s largest thermal generator fleets, in anticipation of future energy prices.
What changes have you noticed at Callide Power Station since you last worked there?
New faces, different ways of doing things and a very different control room following its upgrade – a big improvement. That said, I have also noticed a lot of things that haven’t changed, which incidentally are the some of the names and faces and the way people are committed to getting things done.