The machine cavern is as large as St. Stephen‘s Cathedral. In the process, an average of 200 m3 of rock mass was dug out from the mountain. The machine cavern is especially impressive on account of its size since, at a length of 62 metres, a width of 25 meters and a height of 43 meters, it is as large as the interior of St. Stephen's Cathedral. "Things are running well with this power plant. We have completed the excavation work of the cavern tour months earlier than originally planned," Herbert Schröfelbauer, Chairman of the Board of VERBUND-Austrian Hydro Power AG, commented happily.
Current construction work status
The 200 metre long upper chamber of the surge tank, for which a cableway was especially erected diagonally across the Wasserfallboden reservoir, is also completed. Whilst the 900 ton, 240 metre long headrace tunnel drill, with a diameter of seven meters, has so far cleared around 1.6 kilometres (46%) of the total of 3.5 kilometres in the mountain, excavation work on the 750 metre long pressure tunnel has also begun. With a gradient of 45 degrees, this represents a very special challenge for the power plant experts. The excavation of the service chamber, with its dimensions of approx. 20 x 30 metres, was tackled in the high mountain segment at 2,000 meters above sea level. From May 2008, this is where the pipe assembly for the plating of the inclined chute is to be installed. All in all, some 275 specialists are currently active on the Limberg II construction site.
100,000 visitors registered at Kaprun high altitude reservoirs
"Despite the extensive construction works, the Kaprun high altitude reservoirs of Wasserfallboden and Mooserboden were largely able to be reached unhindered right through until the autumn, since the majority of the transportation was undertaken outside the visitor opening times. This summer also saw more than 100,000 visitors wandering along the tracks of the legend of Kaprun," said Michael Amerer, Chairman of the Board of VERBUND-Austrian Hydro Power AG.
Completion in 2012
Following a six year construction period, the new pump storage power plant Limberg II is scheduled to start operations in 2012 and will more than double the performance capacity of the Kaprun power plant group, from 353 megawatt to 833 megawatt. With that, approx. ten percent of the grid performance required in Austria can be made available during peak consumption periods.