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Vatnsfell Canal Dredging with dredge pump
||July 2014 - January 2015
||Vatnsfell Canal Dredging
The Vatnsfell hydroelectric scheme is a 90MW project owned and operated by the Iceland National Power Company (Landsvirkjun). Construction began in the summer of 1999 and the scheme was put in operation in the autumn of 2001. A canal was excavated from the lake and a concrete gate structure built in the canal to manage the flow rate. The new waterway is called the Vatnsfell Canal.
Unlike other hydro stations in Iceland, Vatnsfell only produces electricity in the winter when water is diverted along the Vatnsfell Canal from Lake Thórisvatn to Krókslón. This reflects the fact that electricity consumption in Iceland peaks in the winter. Vatnsfell is therefore a peak station, mainly producing electricity during periods of heavy load. The scheme boosts the capacity of Iceland's power grid by 430 GWh/year.
Recently, after 13 years of service, the Vatnsfell Canal needed to be dredged to guarantee flow control. The works began in July 2014 and will continue until January 2015. A DOP® 250 dredge pump suspendd in a wire crane performs the dredging work. The crane is mounted on the jack-up barge Steinunn owned by the Icelandic company Hagtak.
The Steinunn was constructed in 2008 at the dockyard of MEST on the Faeroe Islands. It is 12 meters wide and 17.5 meters long and its legs are 22 meters in length. On-board is a Topcon positioning system for high accuracy. The complete jack-up barge weighs about 200 tons but is modular in construction. In this case, the separate barge units were transported by road because the Vatnsfell Canal cannot be reached by boat. The dredging process is monitored extremely precisely to control the flow rate in the canal.