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Tunnelling for Bogong Hydropower Development


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Author R Rooney and A Kindred


The Bogong Hydropower Development is a 140 MW high head power project
currently under construction in Northern Victoria. The project is the final link
in the Kiewa hydroelectricity scheme, which was originally constructed in the
1950s. Due to its location in the Alpine National Park, the waterway for the
Bogong project must be located entirely underground. A series of shafts and
tunnels is being constructed to transfer the water from the headworks at McKay
Creek to the new power station located on the shores of Lake Guy in Bogong

The difference in elevation between the headworks and the power station is
greater than 420 m, which poses particular issues for the design and
construction of the waterway. The purpose of this paper is to describe the
design and construction planning aspects of the tunnelling and shaft excavation
and lining works for the waterway. The tunnelling works includes 5.7 km of hard
rock tunnel boring machine (TBM) driven tunnel, 1.1 km of drill and blast tunnel
and two deep shafts. The tunnels and shafts are lined with a mixture of
permanent rock bolts and shotcrete, concrete lining and steel lining.

The viability of the Bogong Hydropower Development relies heavily on the
ability of the TBM to excavate at high speed through the East Kiewa
Grandiorites. Particular attention was given during the construction planning
stage to understanding the excavation characteristics of this material, and
designing a suitable hard rock TBM that would be capable of meeting the program
requirements of the project.