Snowy Hydro’s management team has announced that it is working towards resetting the delivery timeline and budget for the Snowy 2.0 project with its principal contractor, Future Generation Joint Venture (FGJV), as part of an ongoing project review. Snowy Hydro now anticipates that the timeline for full commercial operation is delayed by a further 12-24 months from the current publicly released dates. First power is now scheduled for a latest start of June 2028 – December 2028, and the commercial operation of all units from December 2028 at the earliest and December 2029 at the latest.
The reset will ensure this critically important clean energy infrastructure project is placed on a robust and sustainable footing for FGJV to progress the schedule in a realistic and productive manner.
While significant progress has been achieved by FGJV on Snowy 2.0, there are delays to Snowy 2.0’s contracted schedule and likely cost impacts beyond the contingency allowed, which remain under review by Snowy Hydro.
There are four broad categories of factors contributing to schedule delays and likely cost increases:
- the mobilisation and resourcing implications of the COVID-19 pandemic;
- the effect of global supply chain disruption and inflation impacting the cost and availability of a skilled workforce, materials, and shipping;
- a number of design elements requiring more time to complete due to their technically complex nature, with the final design now being more expensive to construct; and
- the impact of variable site and geological conditions, with the most impactful being the soft ground encountered that is delaying TBM Florence’s progress at Tantangara.
Snowy Hydro expects more detail on the budget implications of the project reset around July 2023, and this will be clearly communicated with key project stakeholders.
Snowy Hydro CEO Dennis Barnes said: “Since joining Snowy Hydro earlier this year I have focused on ensuring our major projects are placed on a realistic and sustainable footing, while maintaining construction progress.
“This project is critically important to the transition of Australia’s electricity grid and it’s crucial that we are working to a safe, efficient and realistically achievable timeframe to enable orderly planning for all our stakeholders. I am committed to being transparent about our progress and how we are proactively managing the inevitable issues and challenges that arise in a complex project like this.
“While many other major infrastructure projects have been impacted by the same challenges, Snowy 2.0 continues to make positive progress.
“Snowy 2.0 is providing significant employment and economic benefits both regionally and domestically. There are currently over 2,400 people employed on the project and thousands more jobs generated indirectly through supply chains and support services.
“TBM Kirsten has tunnelled 2.9km to reach the underground power station cavern complex and we now have access to this site from both ends. We shortly expect to commence the 6km tailrace tunnel that will feed into Talbingo Reservoir and the excavation of intakes at Talbingo and Tantangara are proceeding very well.”