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Dam Expert Confident Hawke’s Bay Site Ticks Boxes

Media Release
June 26 2013

International Dam Expert Confident Hawke’s Bay Dam Site Ticks All the Boxes

The man who could be leading one of New Zealand’s largest water storage projects has just inspected the Ruataniwha Dam site and given it the thumbs up.

Leading European Contractor, Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) and Hawkins Infrastructure, New Zealand’s largest privately owned construction company, have joined forces to bid for the design and construction phase of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in Central Hawke’s Bay.

Santiago Carmona is likely to be appointed construction manager if the OHL Hawkins bid is successful. He was among several experts from the OHL Hawkins team to inspect the site last week and says he’s very happy with the data he collected.

“At the moment we are trying to test all the materials in the river and confirm all the data so it meets the feasibility study. We need to know where the materials come from, the availability and the quality.

“We have built various water storage structures around the world and often we have had to divert the river flow. The Makaroro River doesn’t have to be moved which makes it easier to manage,” he said.

Mr Carmona has project managed the construction of four large Dams in Spain and South America and is very excited about the prospect of relocating his family to Hawke’s Bay to lead the project.

“I started constructing dams 23 years ago. I helped build the Rhialb dam, which is one of the biggest and most complex dams in Spain. It is 101 metres high, 600 meters long and is built with one million cubic metres of concrete. It was the most important dam in Europe for a long time.”

OHL has built more than 40 dams around the world and is currently constructing three large dams in South America equivalent in size and complexity to the Ruataniwha Dam.

The OHL Hawkins team come with extensive experience in dam building in seismically active zones, similar to the Ruataniwha dam site.

They are currently working with GHD, an international civil engineering consultant, to do the design work and will provide the Hawkes Bay Regional Council with detailed costings and information about the overall viability of the scheme.


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