March 12, 2024

Webuild: Snowy 2.0 underground powerhouse complex taking shape to become one of world’s deepest and largest, able to contain Sydney Opera House

Precast concrete segment factory completes 100,000 of 130,000 planned units for strategic project for Australia’s energy transition 


MILAN, March 12, 2024 – Webuild announces a new milestone in the construction of Snowy 2.0, the largest hydropower project in Australia, with the completion of the excavation of the crowns, or ceilings, of the machine and transformer halls that will comprise the underground complex. Set to become one of the world’s deepest at 800 metres, the total space occupied by the complex would be big enough to house a structure as big as the Sydney Opera House. A second achievement was also achieved with the completion of 100,000 of the 130,000 pre-cast concrete segments to line the project’s tunnel network.

As part of the Snowy 2.0 delivery team, Webuild and its local subsidiary Clough in the Future Generation Joint Venture are building the project on behalf of Snowy Hydro Limited to help the country with its transition from coal to renewable energy sources for a more sustainable future.

About 3,000 people are working on Snowy 2.0, which will connect two existing reservoirs – the Tantangara and Talbingo – through a network of nearly 30 kilometres of tunnels that will have at its heart the underground complex in a region called the Snowy Mountains in the state of New South Wales. Snowy 2.0 will provide up to 2,200 megawatts to the power grid, ensuring stability by making available at a moment’s notice its stored hydropower when other renewable energy sources like solar or wind are not available. 

Using the drill and blast method, workers recently excavated a combined total of more than 73,000 cubic metres of rock to complete the crown arches, or ceilings, of the future Transformer and Machine Halls, both of which have reached 8.5 metres in height. Workers are proceeding to complete the two halls by excavating from top down. 

The Machine Hall will eventually measure more than 250 metres in length, 32 metres in width and 52 metres in height, while the adjacent hall with the transformers will measure 223 metres in length, 20 metres in width and 46 metres in height.

The other milestone is the completion of the production of 100,000 pre-cast concrete segments out of a planned total of 130,000 that will line nearly 30 kilometres of tunnels. One of those tunnels will be fitted with segments equipped with a Force-Activated Coupling System developed by Webuild to resist the enormous pressures caused by the water that will surge towards the turbines of the underground powerhouse.  

A strategic project, Snowy 2.0 is the largest renewable energy development in the country, which has become Webuild’s biggest market outside Italy. With its Clough subsidiary, it is developing a number of strategic projects in the country, including a shiplift facility in Darwin, the largest of its kind in the Northern Territory. In Western Australia, they are working on one of the world’s largest urea plants for the manufacture of fertiliser, as well as an upgrade to a sludge treatment process at the state’s largest wastewater treatment facility. In Melbourne, Webuild is preparing to excavate the tunnels for the North East Link, a section of a freeway network in Melbourne. In Sydney, it is participating in the development of the Sydney Metro line that will lead to the Western Sydney International Airport, the largest public-private partnership in the state. 

Fabbrica dei conci di Cooma - Credits: Snowy Hydro Ltd.

Webuild: Snowy 2.0 underground powerhouse complex taking shape to become one of world’s deepest and largest, able to contain Sydney Opera House

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