The Tamar Valley Power Station in Tasmania will supply additional base load power to the grid; utilising natural gas to promote fuel competition and reduce reliance upon hydro generation technology during periods of drought.
The 210 MW combined cycle power station will include a Mitsubishi 701D gas turbine, a Nooter-Eriksen heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), a cooling tower and a Mitsubishi steam turbine.
The power station will also include 60 MW of peaking generation capacity based on an open cycle arrangement consisting of a Rolls Royce Trent 60 gas turbine. This will complement the 120 MW of existing plant made up of three Pratt & Whitney FT8 open cycle gas turbines.
United Group has been contracted to install the Rolls Royce Trent 60 gas turbine and to design, supply, install and commission the open cycle balance of the plant; design, supply, install and commission the water treatment plant; and erect the complete 210 MW combined cycle power plant. Commencing constructionArticle continues below…
Civil works commenced on the site in the second half of 2007, with United Group moving to the site in January 2008. The 60 MW open cycle plant is due for commercial operation in March 2009, with the 210 MW combined cycle power plant due for commercial operation in August of the same year.
United Group currently has 167 people completing works at the Tamar Valley Power Station site, while Aurora Energy has a further 80 people onsite, including civil contractors and supplier representatives. A maximum workforce of up to 300 people is anticipated to be onsite at any one time during the construction process.
United Group General Manager Rob Sherwood said that the company has engaged many local workers and subcontractors to assist in the design and erection of the power station, in addition to finding local suppliers for equipment.
“The local communities will benefit from United Group utilising local suppliers and employing a large number of locals in the construction. Going forward, the operation and ongoing maintenance of the power station should provide further opportunities for local companies,” said Mr Sherwood.
Mr Sherwood said that working on the Tamar Valley Power Station has been different to working on other projects because it is being executed under a relationship agreement where all information – both technical and commercial – is shared between United Group and its client. Whereas most power station projects are undertaken on a lump sum basis, Mr Sherwood said that the Tamar tactic has resulted in a more informed client and ensures technical issues are discussed and resolved expeditiously to the benefits of both parties.
Challenges – raising the bar
The Tamar project posed challenges such as the connection to services, interfaces within the existing switchyard, as well as the transport, lifting and skating of a number of heavy loads of up to 300 tonnes. Mr Sherwood said that the heavy loads and lifts required specialist equipment sourced from the mainland.
“The most difficult loads on the construction site involved three cranes – one 700 tonne, one 600 tonne and one 300 tonne – with the 700 tonne crane transported to the site on 43 semi-trailers,” he said.
In addition, a strict environmental and cultural heritage management process has been implemented on the site. All site personnel are inducted prior to the commencement of work with details of the environmental and cultural heritage management requirements. Mr Sherwood said that there have been a number of areas identified and marked at the site, with no significant incidents occurring to date.
A united future
United Group has recently commenced work on the Stratford Power Station in New Zealand and is awaiting Notice to Proceed on an open cycle plant in Western Australia. Mr Sherwood said that going forward the company is looking to expand its capabilities and undertake the design and supply of larger combined cycle plants.