SPONSORED CONTENT: As workers race to assemble the first of three tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) for Snowy 2.0, Webuild (formerly Salini Impregilo), the leader of the project to build a pumped-storage scheme in the Snowy Mountains, is calling out for more drivers, engineers, supervisors and others to join in the development of the biggest renewable energy initiative in Australia.
With excavation of the project’s first tunnel to start before year’send, workers with the help of two cranes are putting together the front shield, main drive, gear ring probe drill and other parts of the TBM on a purpose-built concrete cradle in front of the mountainside near Cabramurra, the highest township in New South Wales, where the massive machine will begin its underground journey.
They were quick to start the assembly after the parts arrived from Port Kembla on long trailers hauled by heavy trucks.
Measuring 137 metres in length and 11 metres in diameter, the TBM will operate at a descent of 9%, a unique ability required to excavate a tunnel for 2,660 metres to where a cavern will be dug to house the power plant with six turbines. At about 800 metres below ground, the plant will be the deepest of its kind in the world.
In all, the TBM and the two others that will eventually join it will excavate a combined total of more than 30 kilometres of tunnels, including the main access, headrace and tailrace tunnels.
Commissioned by Snowy Hydro Limited, Webuild, and its partners in The Future Generation joint-venture Clough and Lane Construction,are building the scheme to expand the production capacity of the company’s hydro-power stations from 4,100 megawatts (MW) to 6,100 (MW).
More than 500 people and 100 local businesses are already at work. In addition to the site offices and accommodation camps, a factory is being prepared to produce the 130,500 precast concrete segments that will line the tunnels.
Throughout the life of the project, about 4,000 jobs are expected to be created, witheven more to be created along the supply chain.
For more information on The Future Generation joint-venture click here.