The Snowy 2.0 project has reached a new milestone with the commissioning of a second tunnel boring machine which will further accelerate progress on the nation-building renewable energy project.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor attended the commissioning at a special ceremony at in the Snowy Mountains on Friday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the commissioning of the second tunnel boring machine, the ‘Kirsten’, marks another major achievement for Snowy 2.0, which is already creating thousands of jobs in the region.
“Snowy 2.0 is building on the proud legacy of the first Snowy scheme, using local ingenuity to deliver landmark new infrastructure that will benefit Australia and the National Electricity Market for decades to come.
“Our $1.38 billion investment in this project is already creating a local jobs boom, with a current workforce of more than 1,300 people and an expected 4,000 direct jobs over the life of the project, and many opportunities for local Australian businesses and suppliers,” Prime Minister Morrison said.
“Over $65 million has been spent with local suppliers and more than 150 local businesses have been engaged on the project to date and these numbers are expected to increase.”
“This is what a Liberal National Government is about – creating opportunities for Australians, delivering nation-building infrastructure and creating jobs.
Minister Taylor said the new tunnel boring machine would start work on a second tunnel and would dig through 30 metres of rock a day.
“The commissioning of the second tunnel boring machine shows the Snowy 2.0 project, Australia’s largest storage project, is well on its way to delivering affordable, reliable power for Australians” Minister Taylor said.
“Snowy 2.0 is critical to the National Electricity Market, and will deliver 2,000 megawatts of reliable electricity, to support record levels of renewables and help power half a million homes for over a week during peak demand.
“The new machine is expected to excavate a 2.9km-long tunnel to the power station complex and continue to tunnel uphill at a 25-degree grade. A tunnel at such a steep incline is a world first.
“The first tunnel boring machine, the ‘Lady Eileen Hudson’, has already surpassed 1,000 metres underground, making great progress of excavation at the main access tunnel.”
The new tunnel boring machine will be named in honour of astrophysicist, science communicator and proud Wiradjuri woman Kirsten Banks.
Information on the new tunnel boring machine:
· The new tunnel boring machine is 205 metres long, the equivalent of two rugby league fields.
· It has a diameter of around 11 metres, or the same as a three-storey building.
· It will excavate a 2.9km-long tunnel to the power station complex and then continue to tunnel uphill at a 25-degree grade to create an inclined pressure shaft.