A $5.1 billion contract has been awarded to build the biggest hydroelectric power station in Australia, Snowy Hydro 2.0.
A joint venture made up of Salini Impregilo and Clough will undertake the civil works and electromechanical components of the Snowy 2.0 project, which aims to underpin Australia’s renewable energy future.
The project will increase the generating capacity of the Snowy Hydro-electric Scheme by 2000 megawatts and triple its pumping capabilities.
Under the contract, the joint venture will link the existing Tantangara and Talbingo dams by excavating a series of tunnels and building a hydroelectric power station, with pumping stations located almost one kilometre underground.
The power station uses two reservoirs, one located at a higher level than the other with the power station located in between them. When water from the upper reservoir passes through the station to turn the turbines and generate electricity, it empties into the lower reservoir to be pumped back up again, meaning the water can be recycled through the power station. Large volumes of water can be stored in the upper reservoir and used to generate energy on demand to provide power during peak times.
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Hydroelectricity plays a key role in Australia’s energy market and is responsible for 33.9 per cent of renewable energy generated, according to the Clean Energy Council.
Up to 5000 direct and indirect jobs are set to be created by the project.
“With this massive project, our Group is expanding its activities in Australia by entering the hydro sector to help the country produce more clean energy,” Salini Impregilo Chief Executive Officer Pietro Salini said.
“We are bringing know-how that we’ve acquired from hundreds of projects built throughout the world. This contract consolidates our presence in the country where Salini Impregilo has been working in recent years, especially in the transport sector to expand sustainable mobility in cities like Sydney and Perth.
“This contract confirms our strategy to grow in the country and the investments that we have been making in recent years. Those made at the university level for the development of young talent has also gone in the right direction,” Salini said.