Glendoe Hydro-Electric Power Scheme

Project: Glendoe Hydro-Electric Power Scheme

Contractor: BAM Nuttall / BAM Ritchies

Product: Epicon Grout S

Glendoe 4

Glendoe is situated at the western end of the Monadhliath mountains, near Fort Augustus, and is the first large hydro-electric scheme to be built since 1957. The Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) project was designed in sympathy with the topography and geology of the area. It included construction of a dam (1km long and 35m high), situated at the head of Glen Tarff, as well as a reservoir and turbines hidden within Borlum Hill. The scheme involved some 16km of tunnels, including a 6.2km long headrace.

The design and build project was awarded to Hochtief, including Poyry of Switzerland as the designer, and construction of the power station started on the site in February 2006. The client's engineering consultant was Jacobs.


PM Tony Blair ignited an explosive charge to begin tunnelling work. Children from the local Kilchuimen Academy were asked to name the giant tunnelling machine to be used by Hochtief and it was baptised "Eliza Jane". Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond, 'closed' the dam in September 2008 and the scheme was officially opened in June 2009 by Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh.

However, in August 2009 a rockfall in the tunnel carrying water from the reservoir to the power station, caused closure of the plant. In 2010 the tunnel repair contract was awarded to a joint venture of BAM Nuttal, AMEC and Halcrow (with a partnership between Bam Nuttall, Bam Ritchies and Wayss & Freytag). The consultant was again Jacobs.

Repair work in 2012 included 1.5m3 of Nufins' EPICON GROUT S, to structurally bond and fill voids behind the concrete lining, and to fill longitudinal voids of some 60m in length. This non-shrink epoxy resin grout was trialled extensively by Ron Reilly of Bam Ritchies at their Kilsyth offices, and the product was successfully pumped during the installation.

Glendoe 2

The power station is designed to produce green energy, in the order of 180 million units of electricity in a year of average rainfall, with water collected from the reservoir about 600m above Loch Ness.

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