The 130,000 concrete segments that will line the tunnels for the 2GW Snowy 2.0 pumped storage project in Australia will be produced locally, with Snowy Hydro announcing the launch of its precast factory in Cooma.
The $5.1 billion Snowy 2.0 project is already delivering jobs and significant economic benefit to the regions. More than 1,200 people are already working on the project including over 220 jobs during the segment factory construction and operation.
“Right from the start, we wanted to build this factory locally rather than import segments from overseas or interstate because it meant local jobs, opportunities and investment,” said Snowy Hydro CEO and Managing Director Paul Broad. “It’s with great pride that we celebrate the official launch of this critical facility for Snowy 2.0 alongside our principal contractor and factory operator Future Generation Joint Venture.”
The factory operations include a concrete batching plant and two automated carousels, producing up to 24 rings, each one made of nine segments, per day. Raw materials are sourced from the local area to mix concrete within the batching plant, which is then transferred into the factory and poured into specially-designed moulds every 10 minutes.
Around 70,000 tonnes of slag – a by-product of the steel manufacturing process – is used to produce the segments. This recycling initiative reduces the amount of cement required by 40 per cent.
The segments will supply the three Snowy 2.0 tunnel boring machines as they excavate and line more than 27km of tunnels between Tantangara and Talbingo reservoirs. Currently, more than 600m has been excavated in the main access tunnel by the Lady Eileen Hudson TBM, with a second TBM – named Kirsten – being assembled ready for commissioning and launch.
The Snowy 2.0 project will link two existing Snowy Scheme reservoirs, Tantangara and Talbingo, with 27km of waterway tunnels and a power station with six pump-turbines located about 800m underground.