We wish them all the best! VERBUND and HABAU GROUP celebrate tunnel christening ceremony
The Malta/Reisseck hydroelectric power plant group in Carinthia is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. Each of the connected power plants impresses with its enormous respective capacity – for example Reisseck II boasts a total capacity of 430 megawatts. VERBUND commissioned ÖSTU-STETTIN (HABAU GROUP) to carry out the main construction work in order to increase the efficiency of the plant by 11% without involving any additional water supplies: Reisseck II will grow with the addition of Reisseck II plus, thus increasing supply by 45MW. Extensive construction work is necessary to achieve this ambitious goal; the contract is worth 15.7 million euros. The power plant, which is located between the Grosser and Kleiner Mühldorfer See reservoirs, is planned as a so-called cavern facility – this means that all mechanical and electrical equipment is located in a cavity blasted into the rock.
Countless new builds
ÖSTU-STETTIN and HABAU as subcontractors are constructing numerous new facilities within the context of the project. This includes Reisseck II plus power plant and the upstream and downstream works water channelling system. The latter requires numerous tunnels. Therefore, in keeping with tradition, the so-called tunnel christening or tunnel opening ceremony took place on 18 June 2021 at the start of the tunnelling work. This celebration is attributed to St. Barbara: A tunnelling patroness assumes her role on site and asks for all miners to be protected.
Challenging alpine location
The expansion of the power plant is associated with various challenges. “The site is located high up in the mountains at over 2,200 metres. This means difficult weather conditions and difficult access to the construction site via a 25-kilometre-long lofty mountain road. Equipment, material and personnel planning also have to be organised accordingly,” explains Martin Zmölnig, Business Unit Manager for Underground Construction Operations at ÖSTU-STETTIN. Hubert Wetschnig, HABAU GROUP CEO adds: “We are particularly pleased to be able to contribute our expertise within the context of this so demanding construction project to build the power plant. Particularly as it allows us to make a valuable contribution to sustainable energy production. Our specialised HABAU GROUP companies complement each other perfectly when working on a complex project such as this, thus helping to make the project a success.” The structural expansion of Reisseck II plus is expected to be completed by mid-2023. The new power plant is scheduled to be commissioned by the end of 2023.