Hunter Power Project

Progress and approvals

The Hunter Power Project was declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure by the NSW Government, and went  through a rigorous and transparent planning and environmental approvals process.

Project milestones

2021
2024

Hunter Power Project announcement

19 May 2021

Snowy Hydro Managing Director and CEO Paul Broad and Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor MP announce the Hunter Power Project on-site at Kurri Kurri.

Mitsubishi Power engaged

27 September 2021

Following a competitive procurement process and global search, a contract was signed with Mitsubishi Power to deliver two 330MW world-leading and hydrogen-ready F-Class open cycle gas turbines (OCGT). The Hunter Power Project will underpin greater investment in renewables, firming up an estimated 1.5 to 2GW of renewables from within Snowy’s portfolio. That’s equivalent to 160,000 household solar installations.

Business case released

17 October 2021

The Hunter Power Project is based on a strong business case and will have a double-digit internal rate of return in the order 12.3%. It will build on Snowy’s record of sound and strategic investments. 

Earthworks well underway

February 2022

Earthworks for the gas-fired power station are well underway. Approximately 125,000 cubic metres of dirt and aggregates were moved on-site to help build the construction pad. Approximately 6,750 cubic metres of dirt were excavated for the foundations for the gas turbine and generator.

200 continuous flight auger piles

November 2022

Almost 200 20-metre deep continuous flight auger piles that will hold the foundations for the turbines and infrastructure are installed at site.

First concrete pour for GT1

February 2023

The Hunter Power Project completed the first concrete pour that will form the foundation of the first Gas Turbine, known as GT1.

Concrete pour for GT2

March 2023

The concrete pour for the foundation of GT2 was completed over an 18 hour period.

Generator Stator Delivery

June 2023

Two generator stators arrived onsite at Kurri Kurri after their journey from the Port of Newcastle.

The 150-metre-long convoy containing the 314-tonne generator stator left the Port of Newcastle at 9pm on a Saturday evening and arrived at the Kurri Kurri site at 2am on the Sunday, where it was unloaded and positioned for installation.

The convoy included six prime movers, four police escort vehicles and four pilot vehicles.

Generator Lift and Installation

July 2023

Two 313-tonne generators were successfully installed.

The Hunter Power Project team expertly performed all the required pre-checks and inspections before using a 600-tonne lift-and-lock jacking system to perfectly centre and lift the units. The units were first lifted 5-metres high and then moved 12-metres horizontally, before being lowered into position.

Turbine Reassembly

August 2023

Two 415-tonne gas fired turbines from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are being reassembled on site from the ground up – the largest in Australia to be put together this way.

This task has commenced under domes to protect the turbines from contamination. Each turbine has approximately one million assembly parts to be reassembled under these domes. The reassembly requires a very high degree of precision and a fine tolerance of 0.02 millimetres, which is the smallest dimension that the human eye can resolve.

Tanks construction

September 2023

Construction of the four tanks at Hunter Power Project are maintaining progress against their target completion dates. A milestone will be reached with the hydro-test of the Service Water Tank, scheduled for the first week in December.

Three of these tanks are constructed with carbon steel: one for service water and the other two for the back-up Diesel fuel. The fourth tank is being constructed of stainless steel and will store demineralised water that is essential for the energy generation process. 

Once finished, these tanks will have a capacity between 2.2 and 2.5 million litres each – approximately the same capacity as an Olympic pool.

GT1 Rotor Lift and Installation

November 2023

The installation of the Hunter Power Project’s rotor for Gas Turbine One has been successful.

The approximately 100-tonne critical component with 1,522 blades has been imported straight from Japan. Installation of the rotor required precision as the clearance between the blades and the rotor’s casing is crucial to the turbine’s function and efficiency. The equipment has now been sheltered temporarily to protect it from the elements.

Once in operation, the rotor will spin at 3,000 RPM – 50 times per second – faster than the human eye can discern.

Combustor Installation

February 2024

Work on the combustor installations was completed at the end of February 2024. 20 individual dual-fuel (diesel and gas) combustors were installed into both turbines, with each combustor weighing approximately 440kg each. Each one of these combustors are highly important for the functioning of the units. Fuel from the combustor is ignited and mixed with compressed air in the combustion chamber. The air then expands, pushing into the turbine blades, and subsequently chemical energy turns the shaft to generate mechanical energy. This mechanical energy is then converted into electrical energy by the generator.

Generator and Turbine Assembly Completion

March 2024

March 2024 marked another key milestone for HPP – the successful completion of the generator and turbine assembly for both units. After the assembly, a simple check was required – the team turned the turbine shaft and confirmed the successful assembly after the turbine ran smoothly, quietly and all functioned as expected.

Preliminary Alignment Complete

April 2024

Preliminary alignment of the turbine / generator for both GT1 and GT2 was completed in April 2024. The HPP mechanical team made fine adjustments to the hundredth millimetre, ensuring the generator shaft was perfectly aligned with the turbine shaft. The piping team will step in next, to connect the piping into the turbine and generator casing flanges at their final positions.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

The EIS details Snowy Hydro’s proposal to construct an open-cycle, gas-fired power station near Kurri Kurri, NSW. The Hunter Power Project involves constructing and operating a power station with a capacity of up to 750 megawatts, an electrical switchyard and associated supporting infrastructure. 

The station will operate as a ‘peak load’ generation facility, able to supply electricity at short notice when there is a requirement in the National Electricity Market. 

For gas operation, a new gas lateral pipeline and gas receiving station would be required. These would be developed, constructed and operated separately by a third party, and they will be subject to a separate environmental assessment and planning approval. 

The Hunter Power Project is anticipated to be operational by the end of 2024. You can read the full Hunter Power Project EIS here. Supporting documents including appendices, are available on the DPIE Major Projects portal.

You can read the full Hunter Power Project EIS here. Supporting documents, including appendices, are available on the DPIE Major Projects portal.  

EIS Main Report

Community

Snowy Hydro engaged with a wide range of community members and stakeholders as part of the planning and environmental assessment for the Hunter Power Project. Our stakeholders included government agencies, utilities and council stakeholders engaged with during the EIS studies. Community engagement during the EIS preparation included: 

● The establishment of a dedicated email address and 1-800 information line

● Letterbox drops and door knocking to local residences and businesses

● Three community working group meetings

● One-on-one meetings with nearby residents as requested

Snowy Hydro remains committed to ongoing engagement with the local community and stakeholder groups for the duration of the project. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call the community information line: 1800 570 529.