Built in 1901-02, to supply power to the workshops in the complex, it was one of the first industrial complexes in Queensland to use electricity on a large scale.
In the earliest days of the workshops, machinery was driven by steam power. The site expanded rapidly in the late 19th century and electricity was seen as the key to its modernisation. At the time the area had no electricity supply, so the complex set out to build there own power station.
The powerhouse was run by coal, trains would drive in and dump coal into holding areas bellow the ground level. Down here workers would man handle the coal into the burners.