Hinze dam, Queensland

The Main Access Tunnel (MAT) – which allows access for underground works – has been completed at the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro).

Genex Power advised that its Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor has completed the excavation of MAT within high quality rock conditions. 

The MAT serves as the permanent access point to the power station cavern. The completion of the MAT ensures access for the power station cavern lower bench excavation works and ultimate fit-out activities, which has been established within the timeframe required by the current overall construction program. 

Following the water ingress event in September 2022, Genex took the decision to realign the MAT away from the zone of fractured material encountered in the original MAT heading. While this resulted in an additional length of 436m for the realigned MAT, it reduced the overall risk of the underground works. 

Tunnelling works commenced on the realigned MAT in December 2022. The completion of the MAT marks a major milestone for the underground works and the overall de-risking of the project. The 250MW/2,000MWh project remains on track for energisation in the second half of 2024. 

Genex Chief Executive Officer, Craig Francis, said, “The completion of the realigned MAT represents a major milestone for Genex and the K2-Hydro project. We are extremely pleased with the way in which the Genex and EPC Contractor teams responded to the water ingress event last year, completing the redesign and recommencing production with minimal delay. This has limited the time and cost impacts of the water ingress event on the overall project.

“Today’s milestone is extremely significant, as it enables Genex and its stakeholders to draw a line under one of the material outstanding risk items for the underground works. Importantly it moves us one step closer toward commencing the power station fit-out works ahead of energisation later in 2024,” Mr Francis said.

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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