The spillway work is planned to start later this year and will upgrade the 44-year old dam to modern day standards.

Rowallan Dam is a 43m high earth and rockfill dam on the Mersey River in Tasmania’s north, and was commissioned in 1968.

Its condition and performance were reviewed in 2011 as part of a planned program of risk assessment across our entire asset base. This review found the dam’s performance was consistent with expectations for a dam of its design, construction and age. However, improved understanding of the dam’s risks meant Hydro Tasmania is now able to reduce risks that were unforeseen in 1968.

Hydro Tasmania’s Chief Technical and Operations Officer, Evangelista Albertini, said that the planned work would ensure the dam continued to perform well into the future.

Across nearly a century of hydropower development Hydro Tasmania, Australia’s largest water manager, constructed 59 major dams, 145 smaller structures, and hundreds of kilometres of man-made waterways to direct water to storages and power stations.

“The hydro asset portfolio is very impressive and something of which all Tasmanians should be proud. Many of these assets were world firsts when they were built and continue to provide outstanding service to this day,” Albertini said. “As they age we continue to monitor them for efficiency and safety and we invest to ensure they remain fit for purpose and provide ongoing service for the foreseeable future.

“Planned maintenance and upgrades help to retain our world-class standards. Our major project schedule ensures the electricity supply is reliable and maximises power generation, ensuring Hydro Tasmania remains Australia’s leading producer of renewable energy.”

The work on Rowallan Dam will cost $13.4M over three years, and the project is part of Hydro Tasmania’s rolling 10-year asset management plan.