The Tekapo canal, with the Southern Alps in the background.
Photo by Genesis.
Repairs to fix leaks in the Tekapo power canal will start
next month, but will take more than a year to complete at a
cost of more than $125 million.
Leaks in the 26.5km-long canal, which links the Tekapo A and
B power houses owned by Genesis Energy, have been a problem
since it was opened as part of the upper Waitaki hydro
electric power scheme in the 1970s.
Genesis public affairs manager Richard Gordon said work to
repair the canal would start in the New Year and be carried
out in two 14-week periods, during which temporary dams on
the canal would be in place. The first phase would start in
January 2013, and carry on again in summer 2014.
The full cost would not be known until the affected sections,
which were lined with earth rather than concrete, had been
emptied of water, but it was expected to be "in excess" of
$125 million, he said.
"The work that's taking place is both to the liner of the
canal and to the canal walls at different sections. There
have been a number of leaks over many years, but it has been
deteriorating in the last couple."
During the work, which would also repair erosion-damaged
bridges, the canal would be closed to new water entering it
from Lake Tekapo. Both Tekapo power houses would stop
As a result, Lake Tekapo would start to fill. It would be
reduced to its minimum consented operating level (704.1m
above sea level) at the start of each 14-week work period,
during which it would fill up again.
Genesis had additional power generation available in the
North Island, and although there would be a reduction of
185MW on the national grid, power supply or the price for
consumers would not be affected, Mr Gordon said.