Complex hydropower project

National award win for complex hydropower project

Hydropower dams are located in areas of high rainfall, which is great for generating energy, but presents a challenge for construction and maintenance projects.

With long-term predictions of very large rainfall events, Hydro Tasmania wanted to raise the dam crest wall at Murchison Dam, so it was better able to withstand those events. The Murchison Dam Safety Upgrade involved working at a remote site, on a live dam with the constant risk of inundation, in a narrow workspace 95 metres above the valley floor. There was no margin for error.

The VEC team worked in rugged conditions on Tasmania’s West Coast to raise the existing dam wall by three metres; raise the access road nearby to match the new dam crest level; and install downstream erosion protection.

VEC’s Manager Structures, Civil Tasmania Daniel Longey said it’s the first stage of an upgrade that will allow the dam to safely weather the largest, most severe rainstorm event, keeping communities safe.

“The project was a once-in-a-career opportunity for members of the project team, and we’re honoured to have been recognised with a national award from the Civil Contractors Federation.”