Hochtief scoops 17km Glendoe

23 August 2005

At the end of July, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) told T&TI it would be "working with Hoctief to finalise contracts in the autumn 2005" for the 100MW Glendoe hydro electric power station that includes roughly 17km of tunnels for collection and generation.

On 28 July, SSE announced its intention to proceed with the hydroelectric scheme near Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands following approvals being granted for the scheme by the Scottish Executive.

The Glendoe scheme will be the Scotland's second largest conventional hydroelectric station and the first large scale station to be opened since the Errochty station was opened in 1957. The power station will be built underground inside Borlum Hill on the shore of Loch Ness, with 8km of the tunnels being utilised to collect water from the 75sq km catchment area.

The Hoctief bid was made with support from Electrowatt Infra. The other bidder was a group headed by Morgan Est with Skanska. There is still no word on excavation method, as rumours have been abounding for some time on the relative merits of TBM versus drill and blast excavation, or even a combination of both for the ground conditions.

SSE said preparatory work will start immediately and full construction of the £140M (US$249M) scheme will start in the spring of 2006. Plans call for three years of construction, followed by commissioning towards the end of 2008, with commercial generation from the winter of 2008 / 09.

Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE, said: "Glendoe is a very significant project which will have to be managed carefully and sensitively during the demanding construction phase."