In our April update of the Snowy 2.0 pumped-hydro project, Snowy Hydro CEO Dennis Barnes pays tribute to Alan Machon, who tragically died in a road accident. Alan was a member of the Future Generation team working to deliver Snowy 2.0.

Out onsite, Snowy 2.0 Integration Manager, Paul Smith, joins us from the recently completed Ravine Road, we meet the captain of the Lobs Hole Emergency Response Team and we stop by the Talbingo adit to check on progress of TBM Lady Eileen Hudson’s reassembly in readiness for her second major tunnelling task.

The construction of Ravine Road was one of the first projects undertaken for Snowy 2.0. Originally little more than a dirt track, the main access into the Lobs Hole site has been transformed to provide safe all-weather access for project trucks and light vehicles.

The steep, winding 15-kilometre road is now two lanes wide and in March 2023 it was fully sealed with line marking, snow poles and reflective markers installed to help guide road users in low visibility conditions. With an 850-metre elevation difference from top to bottom, the upper section of Ravine Road is above the snow line.

Areas disturbed during construction are being reinstated and the rehabilitation process is underway. When the Snowy 2.0 project is complete, the general public will be able to use Ravine Road to access a popular camping area once restricted to 4WD vehicles.

At the Talbingo adit, tunnel boring machine Lady Eileen Hudson is being reassembled in preparation for excavation of the tailrace tunnel. New components including the cutterhead and tailskin will soon be lifted into the TBM cradle to be attached to the shields and main drive. After completing the excavation of the main access tunnel, the TBM gantries were removed using self-propelled mobile transporters and will be attached to the machine so it can begin excavating the six-kilometre tunnel. The vertical conveyor belt stacker has been assembled, construction of the water treatment plant is progressing and the grout plant will soon be commissioned.

Snowy 2.0 emergency response teams, or ERTs, regularly conduct training to keep the onsite workforce safe and to prepare for possible emergencies such as vehicle rescues and bushfires.

Future Generation’s Lobs Hole ERT captain, Drew Butters, is a Snowy Mountains local who has worked on the project for three years. He has had a life-long association with emergency response and fire fighting in the Rural Fire Service and is currently the Adaminaby RFS captain.

ERTs are trained to deal with bushfires, general firefighting, emergency response and rescue. Emergency Response Teams have a small crew with experienced full-time members, plus a number of volunteers at each work site.