Yorkshire-based company Fernco Environmental has successfully completed the first phase of a renovation project at the Liawenee Flume in Tasmania using the company’s epoxy coating system Ultracoat. The main objectives of the project were to improve the hydraulic performance of the flume and to protect the surface from further erosion. By doing so, the water flow rate to the power station would improve, increasing the efficiency of power generation.

The Liawenee Flume, constructed in 1921 in the central highlands of Tasmania, forms a crucial part of the power generation infrastructure on the island, as a 100% of the island’s electricity supply is generated by a 30MW hydroelectric power station. The flume is also in a World Heritage site and home to several endangered species: the spotted tailed quail, the brown poa butterfly and the Tasmanian devil, therefore any disturbance to the environment had to be kept to a minimum.

Ultracoat is largely used to rehabilitate drainage infrastructure. It is a waterproof, chemically resistant and structurally reinforcing, 100% solids, epoxy spray-lining system, providing resistance to high levels of sulphur dioxide, acids and alkalines.

According to Fernco, it was Ultracoat’s extremely smooth surface, providing virtually no resistance against the flow of water, that proved to be an ideal solution in Tasmania. Over 400m2 of surface was rehabilitated using the product. Since the upgrade, the flume is now capable of passing 28m3/s of water through the same cross-section, an increase of around 55%. Jon Crean, MD, at Fernco Environmental, says: “The project at the Liawenee Flume was extremely successful and shows the advantages and flexibility of the Ultracoat solution. We are looking forward to completing more projects like this in the future.”

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