Expanding the Snowy scheme's original vision

The Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme remains one of Australia’s greatest feats of engineering. Now, more than 70 years after construction of the scheme began, it is being expanded with Snowy 2.0.

ICN NSW is working with two major contractors for Snowy 2.0 – Future Generation Joint Venture and Voith Hydro – who have been appointed to deliver the project on behalf of Snowy Hydro Limited. 

Future Generation, a joint venture between Australian company Clough, plus Salini Impregilo and Lane Construction, has started Exploratory Works and is preparing for Main Works, listing a number of EOI packages on ICN Gateway.  Voith Hydro won the tender to equip the the underground power station. Voith also has packages listed

The Snowy 2.0 project will add 2,000 megawatts of energy generation and 175 hours of storage, to the National Electricity Market. This will help ensure the stability and reliability of the system with more variable wind and solar coming online and coal plants progressively retiring.

The project located in the New South Wales Snowy Mountains links two existing Snowy Scheme dams, Tantangara and Talbingo, through tunnels and an underground power station with pumping capabilities. Hydro-power will be generated by falling water spinning Snowy 2.0’s giant reversible turbines, which can also pump water in the opposite direction.

The project will include about 27 kilometres of underground excavation and tunnelling works between Tantangara and Talbingo dams to depths of up to one kilometre, as well as surface works in several locations.

There will also be a need for supporting works, such as road upgrades and construction compounds.

The power station complex will sit about 800m underground, with two main caverns – a machine hall and transformer hall. Six galleries will run between the two halls, carrying cables to connect the generators with the transformers.

The power station will house six reversible Francis pump-turbine and motor-generator units, arranged in alternating order. There will be a single inclined, concrete-lined pressure tunnel that will divert water into six steel-lined tunnels feeding water into the generating units.

Snowy 2.0 work packages currently available for the joint venture include civil works such as landscaping, haulage, concreting, scaffolding etc. More packages will be added as the project progresses.

“A lot of the items that Voith is supplying have long lead times – some can take up to two years to build. They are high-end technical items such as large transformers,” ICN Consultant Klaus Baumgartel said.

“They have to get orders out pretty promptly.”

While some of the work packages are closed, there will be more released through the project.

“Work packages are being progressively released to allow sufficient time to analyse feedback from the market,” Klaus said.

“Snowy 2.0 comes under the Australian Industry Participation plan, which means the major contractors have an obligation to include local content in the supply chain.”

According to Klaus, Snowy Hydro, Future Generation and Voith are very keen to have local participation. At this stage, they are releasing low-value services package for exploratory works and this will expand to include larger packages in the future, for example assembling and transporting the large tunnel boring machines.”

Voith will be releasing more packages progressively.

Snowy 2.0 is the largest committed renewable energy project in Australia, and ICN is encouraging suppliers to keep their profile up to date, attend workshops and register for updates.

To find out more about Future Generation JV visit the project website, www.futuregenerationjv.com.au

For more information about Snowy 2.0, go to www.snowyhydro.com.au/our-scheme/snowy20/