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Tamar Valley Power Station

Advanced low emissions gas-fired power station for Tasmania

Aurora Energy
Contract Value
Project Duration
Estimated Completion
Service Lines/Product Description

• Engineering
• Construction
• Fabrication
• Commissioning
• Project Delivery & Implementation

Bell Bay, Tasmania
Project Overview

Aurora Energy’s 390MW Tamar Valley Power Station was designed to reduce Tasmania’s reliance on brown coal generated electricity and hydroelectric power stations, the latter of which were at risk of low production rates at times of drought. Utilising gas sourced from Victoria, received through the Tasmanian Gas Pipeline, the Tamar Valley Power Station now represents 14% of Tasmania’s total generation capability. The power station features efficient low emission gas turbine technology in a combined cycle configuration that is now the single largest generating plant in the State. 

The station comprises three generating units, a 210MW Mitsubishi combined cycle unit, a single 60MW Rolls Royce and three 40MW Pratt and Whitney gas turbines in open cycle configuration.

Aurora Energy contracted UGL to design, supply, install and commission the open cycle balance of plant works including 110kV and 220kV switchyards, water treatment plants and a Rolls Royce Trent 60 gas turbine. UGL also provided installation and commissioning assistance for the 210MW combined cycle power plant.

The Challenge

The challenge was to design an alternative source of power generation which would reduce Tasmania’s reliance on brown coal generated electricity and hydroelectric power stations, the latter of which were at risk of low production rates at times of drought.

Establishing a large gas-fired power station in Tasmania would provide an alternative supply and a source of competition in the wholesale energy market which has been a key energy policy objective of successive Tasmanian Governments since 1997.

Aurora Energy required a supplier to deliver a gas-fired power station that would attempt to achieve this objective resulting in more available energy and capacity required to meet demand well into the next decade.

The Solution

From robust planning, to integrated design, cost effective procurement, fast-track construction, commissioning, and seamless transition to operation, every aspect of our delivery focused on achieving first class outcomes.

The Tamar Valley Power Station comprises a 210MW combined cycle gas turbine power plant and an additional 180MW of open cycle gas turbines. The combined cycle plant is based on Mitsubishi 701DA gas turbine with a heat steam recovery generator, a steam turbine and cooling tower. The open cycle plant consists of three existing P&W FT8 gas turbines and a new Rolls Royce Trent 60.

The Mitsubishi unit is a highly efficient base load generator operating under a combined cycle configuration, while the Rolls Royce and Pratt and Whitney gas turbines are capable of providing back-up supply to the Mitsubishi unit as well as providing peaking capacity during high-demand periods.

The solution consisted of three portions which included:

Separable Portion 1 – Open Cycle Gas Turbine:

  • Design, supply and installation of the balance of plant
  • Design, fabrication and installation of piping systems
  • Design, supply and installation of the 110kV switchyard
  • Installation of one Rolls Royce Trent 60 gas turbine generator and auxiliary equipment
  • Testing and commissioning of the balance of plant and the 110kV switchyard
  • Support to Rolls Royce during the testing, commissioning and performance testing phases

Separable Portion 2 – Water Treatment Plant:

  • Design, supply and installation of the water treatment plant which included the processes of ultraviolet filtration, reverse osmosis and Demin water production using mixed-bed polishers
  • Testing and commissioning

Separable Portion 3 – Combined Cycle Gas Turbine:

  • Design, fabrication and installation of gas piping systems
  • Design, supply and installation of the 220kV switchyard
  • Installation of the gas and steam turbines, heat recovery steam generator, cooling tower, MCC, and transformers
  • Testing and commissioning of the balance of plant and 220kV switchyard
  • Support to Mitsubishi during the testing, commissioning and performance testing phases

Across all three portions:

  • Process, civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and controls design
  • Management of the site including safety, quality, environmental and industrial relations
Key Outcomes and Benefits

With a site workforce of over 250 personnel, the project was completed on time with an excellent safety, environmental and industrial record. Local communities benefited from UGL’s utilisation of local suppliers and in employing a large number of locals in the construction.

Key outcomes included:

  • Tasmania now has access to another major source of power generation and new frequency operating standards have been put in place
  • The project was delivered in a shorter lead time than required by Aurora Energy overcoming challenges such as the connection to existing services, interfaces within the existing switchyard, as well as the transport, lifting and skating of a number of heavy loads of up to 300 tonnes
  • UGL’s specialist engineering and project teams provided a distinct advantage for the client in driving the most effective project solution focused on budget and on-time delivery
  • Project costs finished under budget supported by project continuity where the total cost estimate phase was seamlessly transferred across to the construction phase
  • Designing a fit for purpose system that satisfied the client’s requirements where operational performance exceeded expectations
  • Environmental benefits from reduced carbon emissions as the result of improved efficiency
  • Designed to allow for expansion to meet the growing needs of the region

At the peak of construction, almost 1,000 people worked on the production station site in Taranaki, providing a significant boost to the local economy. More than six million hours of labour were expended on the project, while maintaining a strong commitment to the safety of everyone involved.

Importantly, most of the people employed on the project were locally based, enhancing the regions work force with valuable new skills and experience through their involvement with an internationally recognised project.

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