The North Bank Hydropower Project, located on the Waitaki River, Canterbury NZ, is a proposed tunnel-based 250MW scheme with an annual energy output 1,700 GWh pa.  The scheme diverts water from Lake Waitaki and returning it some 34km downstream near Black Point.

AECOM was engaged by Meridian Energy Ltd to undertake detailed feasibility studies to confirm the technical and economic viability of the project and focused on providing information to confirm a preferred option.

Two arrangements were developed through to full feasibility level study, the initial concept comprised a 34km long, 12m diameter tunnel feeding a three unit power station before being released back into the Waitaki River with a gross head of 124m.

The second layout comprised the diversion of the water from the dam through a 12km long tunnel into an intermediate power station that discharged into a 14km long canal before entering a second 9km long tunnel into a second power station. The 260m3/s flow, tunnel diameter and power station arrangements was the same as the initial option.

The second arrangement was investigated to reduce overall construction costs and to avoid particularly poor tunneling conditions.

Services were commenced in July 2009 and the initial Feasibility Study issued in June 2010.


Services Provided

Engineering Feasibility Study (Investigation & FS Design)

  • Topographical Data Acquisition & Assessment
  • Hydropower Planning and Scheme Arrangement Development
  • Geological Investigations, including extensive literature search, field mapping and some 2,500m of cored drill holes, Geological Model Development & Geotechnical Assessment (GDR & GIR)
  • Tunneling & Underground Structures
  • Hydrology and Hydraulic Analysis
  • Civil, Structural and Hydromechanical
  • Mechanical & Electrical
  • Transmission Engineering
  • Construction Planning, Schedule & Estimates
  • Risk Review & Register
  • Energy Assessments
  • Reporting
  • Project Management