Multiconsult, in cooperation with Skava of Chile and Amberg of Switzerland, has been awarded a contract by AES-owned Alto Maipo Spa to provide owners engineer services for underground works at the Alto Maipo project in Chile.

The 531MW hydro project comprises two hydroelectric plants – an upper plant with a head of 1160m and a lower plant with a head of 483m. The scheme includes two underground power stations and 67km of tunnels driven partly conventionally by drill and blast and partly by TBM. Ground conditions are complex with rock cover up to in excess of 2000m making for challenging conditions for underground works. Works are due to start this month.

“Multiconsult was previously involved in and responsible for parts of the feasibility study for the scheme and development of tender documents," said Richard Duncumb, manager for Dams and Underground Construction in the Energy Department. "The Contract builds on this previous involvement as well as Multiconsult’s world leading expertise in high head hydropower schemes and underground works."