Pouring above our weight

March 23, 2023
  • Engineering design
  • Construction and commissioning

When a tall order comes in, our Hunter Power Project team (HPP) has the perfect response: “Bring it on”.

The HPP team has just delivered a massive concrete pour to form the foundation on which the first gas turbine (GT1) of the power station will be set – the largest ever pour for the UGL utilities team – and is getting ready to do it all over again for the second one (GT2).

This effort required a significant coordination of logistics and resources in a task that took 18 straight and intense hours to complete.

Starting early at 4:00 a.m., a long caravan of 220 concrete truck deliveries made its way into our site at Loxford, NSW.

At a rate of almost 16 truck deliveries per hour, it took our fellow workers until 5:00 p.m. to pour the approximately 1,480m3 of concrete for the foundation of GT1. For comparison, that amount of concrete would fill almost two thirds of an Olympic swimming pool.

The resulting foundation is a colossal concrete block that is a bit over 3.5m high, 11m wide, and 36m long, and weighs approximately 3,700 tonnes – that’s almost ten Boeing 747 airplanes! This provides all the necessary support that the powerful turbine will require to properly work.

UGL’s HPP Senior Project Engineer, Mark Williamson, provided more insights into the demanding task:

“Pouring the concrete is the main event of a long planning and strict execution process. We considered a myriad of variables: from air temperature to humidity level, including wind speed, surface temperatures, water, and the concrete mix that we used. All these make the task very challenging, and we were able to successfully deliver”.

UGL’s HPP Project Director, John Battaglia, was pleased with the completion of this critical milestone: “This is a testament to the capabilities and efficient work of our team, and how we are able to overcome all sorts of challenges – from logistics to weather – in order to safely achieve a successful outcome. All the recognition goes to their hard work and dedication.”

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