Wivenhoe power station bulk head gates revived

Four massive bulk head gates have beem reinstalled at CS Energy’s Wivenhoe Power Station in a meticulously planned operation involving two cranes and a convoy of semi-trailers.

The 46-tonne steel gates have been refurbished in the past two months as part of a $1.1 million project to restore them to near new condition.

Site manager Darren Kendrick said the gates performed a critical safety role during overhauls by isolating key areas of the power station to enable workers to safely carry out inspections and maintenance.

“As Wivenhoe is a pumped storage hydroelectric plant, we need to drain and isolate areas of the power station before people can do maintenance in there,” Mr Kendrick said.

Reinstalling bulk head gate at Wivenhoe Power Station

“During overhauls, these gates slide down from their position above the power station tail bay to temporarily block water flow at our main intake and discharge points for Lake Wivenhoe.”

The gates were removed for refurbishment in December 2017 and carefully transported back to the power station using eight semi-trailers for the gates and counterweights required for their reinstallation.

On arrival at the power station car park, two cranes were used to lift and reinstall the gates one at a time.

Mr Kendrick said the refurbished gates would be used during the upcoming overhaul of unit 2 at the power station from April to July this year.

“Wivenhoe Power Station has a design life of 100 years, so regular overhauls and maintenance will keep it operating in peak condition and providing electricity for many years to come,” he said.