An international engineering marvel both today and at the time it was devised, the Snowy Mountains scheme, or Snowy Hydro, is a network of sixteen dams, seven power stations and 225km of pipelines and aqueducts in Southern New South Wales. The sheer scale of the project required 25 years of continual construction and connected new Australians with regional communities in the process. The project provides over 30% of the renewable power on the Eastern Australian electricity grid, which runs from Rockhampton to Melbourne, Adelaide and Tasmania.
Even today, talking about the Snowy Mountains scheme both conjures up memories for older Australians and inspires younger, technically minded Aussies. Such is the reverence for the scheme in Australian culture, that a Snowy Hydro 2.0 is in the works to deliver more renewable energy across the Eastern Australian grid. It’s a project that is cemented in Australian history as one of our defining moments, and as one of our first renewable energy projects, it’s helped ease the impact on our beautiful environment.
Over two decades ago, McElligotts had the pleasure of working on this iconic piece of Australian infrastructure. On what was the largest project we’d ever undertaken at the time, we applied specialised protective lining to 1.5km of 3m steel pipes. As both the stakes for failure and the quality demanded from the client were extremely high, we imported cutting-edge robot spraying technology from the United States to assist with the job. It allowed us to complete the massive undertaking in less than 12 weeks, with some of the most uniform paint depths we’d ever seen at the time.
This was one of the first times such technology was used in Australia and marked a turning point in McElligott’s history. Since that time, we’ve continued to invest in new technologies to provide efficient, durable and consistent results for larger infrastructure and construction projects.
In addition to honing our own capabilities and providing enhanced protection to vital piping in the Snowy Hydro scheme, we had the opportunity to employ over 60 locals in the process. The Snowy Hydro scheme is a vital part of the local economy and we were beyond pleased to work with locals and hone the skills of our existing workers.
Check out company director John McElligott discuss the Snowy Hydro project in more detail below, and if you have any questions or would like to discuss an upcoming project with McElligotts then please get in touch.