Dam refurbishment project wins project management award

13 August 2015

Hydro Tasmania has been awarded the Tasmanian Project of the Year by the Australian Institute of Project Management in the Construction/Engineering category.  

The Award was presented at a function in Hobart last night and recognised excellence of project management for the refurbishment of Rowallan Dam in Tasmania’s north.

Rowallan Dam is a 43-metre high earth and rock-fill dam on the Mersey River in Tasmania’s north, built in the period 1964-67 and commissioned in 1968. The dam is comprised of two embankments separated by a central concrete-lined spillway.

The condition and performance of the dam 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 was able to reduce risks that were unforeseen in 1968.

The two-stage refurbishment involved strengthening of the spillway walls and improving the capacity of the dam to withstand large floods. Work was conducted over the summers of 2013-14 and 2014-15.

It was the first time that a project of this complexity has been successfully undertaken on a live dam in Australia.

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

Across a century of hydropower development Hydro Tasmania, Australia’s largest water manager, has constructed 55 major dams, 30 power stations, and hundreds of kilometres of man-made waterways to direct water to storages and power stations. Many of these assets were world firsts when they were built and continue to provide outstanding service to this day.

Sustainably managing our dam portfolio is a priority for Hydro Tasmania: that is, we manage for the future. We undertake regular and planned risk assessments for all our infrastructure. As these assets 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.

Ends.

Released by Samantha Meyer, (03) 6230 5746

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