Giant anchor installation project under way at Australia’s 48-MW Catagunya

Australia utility Hydro Tasmania reported June 3, 2009, it has installed the first four of 92 giant post-tensioned anchors in a dam safety refurbishment program at its 48-MW Catagunya Dam on Tasmania island’s Derwent River.

At a cost of A$38 million (US$30 million), the two-year project is to bring the 50-year-old dam up to current international safety standards. (HydroWorld 8/29/08)

At the time of its construction in 1962, the 49-meter-tall Catagunya was the largest dam of its type in the world. The utility said it is concerned that corrosion is weakening the steel cables that strengthen the concrete gravity dam.

The new anchors are steel wire bundles, 300 millimeters in diameter, with a holding force of 1,700 tons. Holes are being drilled up to 75 meters deep in the spillway. The cables, encased in grease and plastic pipe to protect against corrosion, are anchored in the holes and stretched tight by a jack at the top of the dam.

Hydro Tasmania Consulting performed design of the work, which is being carried out by local contractors.

Lake Catagunya water levels were lowered for the work, with normal levels to be restored upon completion, expected in mid-2010.

Catagunya is one of 10 power stations in the Derwent River catchment, which provides 27 percent of Tasmania’s electricity.

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